Sunday, April 27, 2014

27/30: prompts include writing a letter, using birdsong, among others.

Dear Andrea:

Things are good here.  The weather
has gone hot again, and the rains
should start back up soon.  My new job
is hard and I love it; two of my students
have now written poems.  Isn’t that
some kind of particular magic?  There are birds
that I listen to every night; I’ve been trying
to place their call.  One sound, one high
syllable just now, then again, and again
time to time and if I stand on my apartment
rooftop I can hear it echoing

                                                across town.  I haven’t
managed to actually see one of these birds.
I read yesterday an idea that a teacher
cannot really teach, that the student must learn
on their own, that all the teacher can do
is encourage the learning.  If that’s true, two
of my students have managed to learn
to write poems all on their own
and I’ve never seen a one of these birds.
Their call ends in an E-sound.  One night
I decided it was THREE.  THREE.  THREE.

I think about what I’m learning here, and who,
if anyone, is my teacher.  I go up
to the roof to escape the subtropical heat
if it is not raining and look out
at every sleeping window and marvel at the lives
they all contain.  One day soon a student
will give me a third poem, then a fourth
and I want to say I have taught children
to read but surely I only helped them

to learn.  What a precise alchemy it is,
and I watch as their little eyes solve
the squiggles, as their tiny mouths move
and all the right sounds come out and in
the night I reach out for these birds I cannot name
and I grasp them and tie my worries to their
little bird feet and let go, learning to watch them fly


1 comment:

Taidgh Lynch said...

This is beautiful. This is my favourite so far. Nearly there now!