Even here, even now, a Sunday morning at the lake—
in the ten thousand points of fiery light
jumping up and down on the unstill water, uncatchable,
mesmerizing, various, all the small elf lights making one
field of scintillating light—my students suddenly appear:
restless, chattery, overflowing with bluster
or timidly emitting that inner glow so mysterious,
untouchable and luminous that it keeps me returning
again and again to their exhausting world—
near-adolescents packed like a drawerful of mismatched socks
into a single classroom. I run away. Close my eyes,
open them in a new place—discover I've been followed.
Sun’s got the whole lake dancing with light
but only part of me can attend. The classroom
won’t let go. Even kids who will be plain one day
are beautiful now as they change daily, becoming
themselves as they try on new ways of being.
Every day they look toward me, expecting something.
I pour myself into the classroom and then—retreat.
Weekends I think water, I think trees, escape.
The young are on their way to somewhere else.
I want simply to wave them on their way
but they say no, they drive right through me,
marking me with tire tracks, leaving me panting,
breathing in their exuberant exhaust.
© by Ginny Lowe Connors.
Used with the author’s permission.