To Teach

This is not the memory of names
or the consequence of time held high.
Nor is it the specifics of information garnered
from the fragile truth of books
to our changed perceptions
the blessed, flexible vision of the eyes.

I have no simple justification for what I have chosen
besides how it feels, like blooming on fire
and its subsequent comfort. The epitaph of humanity,
the transfer of growth. Here, among us all
I know you as if you were my own.
You know me and now I know the world.
What more is there to remember.


Looking for Spring

Pink horizon of morning,
We call it hope in the wakening sky.
The distance in possession of touchable memories,
Far away but tangible to the awakened eye.
Images roll past, the grasp of the ever-clouded mind.

I must remember more at these junctures.
The coming of Spring is not far behind.
Embrace abandon with these young apparitions.
We are teachers and students discovering life.
Living through the ground as hesitant ghosts,
Revisiting the woods and the sky.
Let us uncover slowly the secrets of Spring,
Enchanted, the days pass us by.

Aroma of life has now stricken us numb,
The cabbage of the season has partnered with the skunk.
What irony the marriage of these two of a kind,
the most pungent babies of Spring.
Curious creations, after the heaviest of snow,
I accept the curiosity of life and envelope the unknown.

I must remember more at these junctures.
Remind me again, sweet aroma of Spring.
Pink horizon of morning, you are ahead of me now.
Walk onward. We will find it. The coming of Spring.

Voice Lessons

In pictures I teach the students about
the apple tree and what it learns
about its own life
that blossoms will
come upon spring and the lush green
bursts of foliage will cover its upper
body in summer
and that soon—at now
the fruits of summer life will step forth
in memories as round and as crisp as orbs
that lie loose on the lines of its branches.
How proper that on these days I
become that tree. I become the fall
and its memories. Its pages that when dropped
can be scattered in words
and propelled from the mouths of babes
their flavorful sweet songs
the melodies and their company
which serve to warm us on the coming winter days.

The Stories Children Tell

I am
I was
I always will be
the youngest
of five children
my mother
in the fields
in Vietnam
she couldn’t take care of me
my grandmother took care of me
in Guatemala
the car wash company
took them
with two numbers
my mother
missed me
so I crossed the desert
my aunt crossed with us
to the refugee camp
in Kenya
we were alone
after the demons
killed my uncle and my father
in the village
my grandmother
treated me like a princess
she told me
I would find a castle
in America.