poetry · Recent

Go forth and mend the world

 

Today I said goodbye to my students.

It’s always an emotional day for me

because, you see,

I love my students.

They give my days purpose

and keep me up at night thinking

about the world and all that is

right with it.

They inspire tears when I think

about the world and all that is wrong with it.

They break my heart in some of the

best ways I never thought possible.

So saying goodbye to them at semester’s end

always brings a little melancholy.

Of course I’m glad that the semester is done,

glad that I get a break from all the grading.

Glad I get to hit the reset button on all the mistakes

and missteps that I made right along with them.

I’m glad I get to sleep in if I choose, and turn

my attention to writing that I don’t have to comment on.

But I’m also sad.

Sad that I won’t see another essay about favorite

movies or books, I won’t see another paper

with the title “Essay 4.”

 

Sad that I won’t see another “defiantly” when the student

meant to spell “definitely.” There won’t be another

“should of” instead of “should have” or another wrong use

of there, their, they’re…

Sad that another student won’t tell me how

her paper helped her understand childhood traumas.

Sad that I won’t sit with another student

while she cries because Trump got elected and

her friends don’t care that she and her parents

are immigrants.

Sad that another student won’t inspire tears

in me after days of apathy.

Yes, I love my students.

So today, I told them so.

They give me purpose in this

broken world

and in this broken world I can

encourage them to be kind and

exhort them

to go forth and love

with intention.

I can show them how to be fierce

and forgiving.

“You” I said to them. “That’s what you can do,

in this broken, frightened,

fucked up world.

You can love.

And, when need be,

you can kick some ass.”

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