Learning from Teaching

May 13, 2009
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When we write, words flow out of them
Like water from a faucet
Whereas I’m lucky to get the occasional leak
And when they finish, they come to me
Today, a little girl with banana curls
Bouncing up and down
Like the balls you get for a quarter at a supermarket
She smiles wide, her cheeks plump and red
“Can I share my piece first?”
As they read, their words are fast
They are nervous, they are excited
They have to make sure they are heard
I make sure they are heard.

The next day I arrive to find
Twenty-five sparkling pairs of eyes
Ready to learn, ready to teach
I want to take them home and store them in a penny jar
Save them for a rainy day
I want to tape them on street corners
Next to signs for lost dogs and missing children
I want to splice them between depressing clips
On the evening news
But I cannot
Because they are not my children
They are not possessions
They are only mirrors, memories, teachers
But it’s enough to inspire me
For now and forever.

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