Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My body is a school.

My body is a school.

The principal and teachers are meeting
in the faculty room of my brain.
They are discussing the best ways
to improve their students' faculties.

My eyes are a vision
of a brighter future,
but right now it's raining
and the visibility's not so good.

My ears have the capacity
of an auditorium,
for questions, music,
problems, poems,
and confidences kept safe.

My shirt is brightly colored,
a primary color with short sleeves.
There are no tricks up my sleeves,
just grease on my elbow,
and copier toner under my fingernails.

I have a full, satisfied feeling
in my cafeteria stomach.

There are students running
through my intestinal hallways.
It tickles, stirring up serotonin.

My hands are empty.
There are no more supplies
to carry upstairs
from the supply room.
But they are open,
full of compassion and giving.
They are ready to reach out
and help someone up.

One foot is stuck in the mud
of public apathy,
while the other is unstable
on the shifting sands
of governmental mismanagement.
My balance is good
and my legs are strong.
I've had lots of practice
traversing this land.
And somehow
I keep moving forward.

/ / /

This poem is in response to a prompt from Poetic Asides to write a school poem.


  1. I'm glad you keep moving forward; I like these steps you take.

  2. What a vision - perfect use of metaphor. May your school year...and school body be blessed.

  3. Rosemary, thank you. It's the steps that we take that are important. Words are important, but so are actions.


  4. Poets United, thank you. I have been blessed with a wonderful job, amazing young people to work with, and awesome poets (like you) who encourage me. Thanks.


  5. Beautiful, Richard. I admire you as a teacher. You just have to keep moving forward one day at a time; and you will touch lives! You may not realize for a decade...or two.

  6. Wowzers, Mr Walker, this is a humdinger of a poem! I love the faculty meeting going on in your brain, and the portrait you paint of caring and willing teachers, hampered by dictates from the Top. "one foot is stuck in the mud of public apathy"......but your strong legs somehow keep on walking.

    Your students are so lucky to have you for a teacher!

  7. Mary, thanks. I had a nice visit today with some former students who are now juniors in high school. I'm always touched when they make the effort to come back and say hello.


  8. Sherry, thank you so much. I'm glad you liked the poem. It's always fun to adopt a persona in a poem, but some of them are more personal.