the poem that will never capture enough or “10 months learning how much I wish I knew” (to my students)

Putting crayons in a box like I want to fit words into lines
Every word I never wrote during these ten months
I now dedicate to my students:
To the child with the biggest heart but the broken memory
Whose culminating project was a four lined poem :
“The tree is small and/the bark of the tree is brown./
white are the leaves/and the raspberries sweet.”
That is memorized on my heart forever,
A raised scar reminding me that not all men are created equal,
And not all work has a tangible product.
To the child with the truest beauty she fears will never reflect in her face
Different by birth
A model of strength and perseverance
Though magazine’s don’t reward for these traits,
She showed me sometimes Life is the bully with no face
And fists can’t fight the demons built by society;
To the child afraid of growing up
That taught me there are worse things in life that not knowing what comes next or
How to get there,
Like knowing exactly what could come next and fearing a lack of ability to change it.
Where words once outlined my soul now crowd the names of students,
students failed, loved, missed, dreaded, and polished –
I do not claim credit for the light any of my students possess but
only serve to help them shine a little brighter
I have been teaching and been shaped now less by words of vanity than the
requests by my children.
And to them I dedicate every word in the dictionary:
I hope you learn half of them,
because not all words are lovely, and then
keep half of your own because you command your voices
I dedicate to you every hour I now give to helping any person, child businessman, or beggar,
because I pray it will come back to you
I dedicate to you every unwritten poem I never wrote
because I was “busy,” trying to figure out you and I
dedicate it without irony or bitterness because
you were all worth everything I had to say and
my words would still be less in comparison to the beauty I saw in you.
Thank you

(2013 and forever onward)

Give Sharkey a piece of your mind.

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