Sunday, February 20, 2011

This week

For a long time, I have intended to make my daughter-in-law a sweater. This week, I crossed that off my “to-knit” list.  Following Shalom, a pattern my daughter found,  I used Swish, a bulky washable, Merino wool (easy care, I hope) in Hawk (because she likes grey).  I finished it, tied a red ribbon embossed with hearts around it, and mailed it off just in time for it to arrive exactly on Valentine’s Day.  

Our whole family feels so blessed to have Alexis with us. She is funny, smart, witty, and clever.  She reads voraciously, writes a weekly column on the Harrisburg music scene, works for a non-profit nature center, and cooks amazing food, cognizant of using local produce.  She is a devoted sister and daughter. She sings, she acts, she laughs lustily; she makes life a good time. But most of all, she loves my son who adores her just as much in return.  Having her in our family fills my heart with joy and thanksgiving…

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Bag

I bought this bag for the things I carry
and for the weight of this calling,  
which bows my back , strains my hips, 
flattens my arches.
and my furrows my brow.

I carry the symbols of my job;
my name bag and paw-print-labeled keyring,
dangling the key to school, classroom, 
a computer cart,
and my life from morning to dusk.

I carry the tools of my trade;
loose paper clips,  post it notes, piles of pens,
(felt tip, ball point, permanent 
and impermanent markers)
for jotting notes on papers, overhead film, triplicate forms
big white paper taped to the wall, notes, reminders, or hall passes.

          I carry my books
my Kindle and O’Brien’s paperback,
pleasure and professional amalgamated
I carry a need to be prepared
at all times for all things for teacher and for student who need a cough drop, writing “implement” tissue, rubber bands, bottle of water, granola bar, or lunch money.

I carry remedies for the tensions of the days,
two packs of gum to freshen lunch mouth or sweeten speech;
I carry headache pills, lip balm and a emery board,
to smooth the roughness from the edges.
I carry my wallet enfolding one photograph of my grandson, my driver’s license 
identifying me as an organ donor
I carry a red phone connecting me to my family and friends
I carry soft worn black leather gloves which once covered my mother’s hands,
all reminders that beyond these school wall,
another life awaits in a space to breathe
and simply be….

 (written in concert with my students during our considerationof Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried)