tends to catch you by surprise,
like an old high school teacher,
math or English, the one you
made fun of because she lisped
while encouraging you in front of friends
after a failure. You hated the subject,
her class, the way the radiator
hissed incessantly all winter
in the drab room.
Back home years later,
you meet her on the street
and she smiles at you, happy
about your successes, glad
you’ve turned out all right,
her forgiveness making the trip
From Faith to See and Other Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2007)
First published in The Penwood Review
Used with the author’s permission.
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Kathe L. Palka is the author of two chapbooks, is active in the U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative, and is on the editorial staff of U.S. 1 Worksheets. Her poems have appeared in many online and print publications. Kathe lives near Flemington, New Jersey, with her husband of 26 years, their two sons, and her beloved German Shepherd, Jetta. An avid gardener, she enjoys wandering the parklands of her native state whenever time permits.Learn more about her at http://kathepalka.com/
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