I feel my eyes glaze over.
I don’t want to, but I shudder
When I see them,
My former students,
In their form of failure.
For I have known of their aspirations
When they let me peek inside their minds eyes
Their Daily diaries and poetry.
Sworn in those swirling scribbled journals
Engineers, doctors, psychologists, veterinarians, teachers, writers.
I see them these years later
Frying at Fast Food
Listed in the police blotter in
The Evening Times-Call
Pictured in its obituaries.
And I remember their desperate scrawls on bright white notepaper
eager demands of themselves
Now deteriorate in the land.
I see their faces fall,
When our eyes crash for a moment at the drive.
We read each others’ minds
in that one half second
We both falter
Fumbling with the change
I try on my failure as a teacher.
They wonder if they have let me down.
We fake onward.
I can do no more
My chance at saving them
As is my moment at the drive
My shaking pass at a youthful face
Surrounded by casket as
I slip a daisy along bronze.
I swear, I did the best, I could.
I swear I tried to teach.
more than just English
That I tried to teach honesty, determination, clarity.
I know I gave all and more
To make individual dreams fly.
But so many
. . .lost
as I slowly open The Evening Times-Call.