Making Time

In our Teachers Write quick write today, we were to write about a character in a library.  I struggled all day, thinking about what I might write.  Nothing was really tugging at me.  Then I remembered a poem I had written for our district’s writing institute and used that as my inspiration.  Here you go….

Her arms tremble under the weight of the faded books she pulls for her English class.  She always hates this time of year – her favorite and the students’ dreaded analysis paper. 

“Don’t these kids understand how important it is to read these classics?  O’Connor?  Hemingway?  Conrad?  Williams?” she asks herself for the millionth time. 

“What’s happening to our kids?  They just don’t want to read or work anymore.”  She answers her own question letting the mountain of stale books slide onto the nearest table.  Several books continue to slide right to the floor.  Bending down to retrieve her precious friends, she notices crumpled pieces of paper underneath the chair. 

“Ugh! Uncaring, disrespectful kids.  They even leave their trash for others to pick up.”

She sets the paper balls on the table and straightens her books thinking about tomorrow’s lesson, imagining the predictable moans and groans the audience will offer up in response to the assignment.  Continuing to mentally review her plans, she eyes the bits of writing unfolding from the trash she had set on the table.  Eyes darting around the stacks in the library, her fingers peel one paper ball apart.  It appears to be a poem.  “Probably something crude or inappropriate as usual,” she snarls and proceeds to read.

A Cry for Help

I’m dying you know.


Little by little.

Piece by piece.

Until all that

was recognizable

is fading away.


You could help.


have the power.

All the power.

Rekindle the fire.

Fan the flames

that are buried

so deep,

so deep

Just an ember

lost in the ashes

of my childhood.


it’s there,

the light.

YOU are killing me,

you know?

With all the

white papers

black lines

red streaks

gold stars.

Row by row,

robotic discussions,

same questions,

generic answers


day after day,

year after year.

Those stars,

peeled off



just like me.

Give me something

that will stick.

Uncover the radiance

that barely glows.

It’s in here


In the dark.

Where I can’t

see myself


Where everyone

is  alike.

In the dark.

But we aren’t alike

I’m the one

who held

the fire in my eyes.

My bright eyes

that glowed

and now



I move through

the motions.

A puppet on strings.

A calf led to the


I’m dying.

Help me

to live.

Fuel the fire

that burned

hot and bright.

Where the flames



I beg you.

Don’t let me wilt

in your professed loving arms.

Embrace me.

Nurture me.

Feed me.

Tend me.

And that fire

will burn


I’m dying.


Little by little.

Ember by ember.

Flame by flame.

I’m dying.

Make me whole


Her hands fall limp at her sides.  She stares into the stacks. She turns.  And, without a sound, leaves her precious Hemingway and O’Connor on the table, forgotten.  She doesn’t look back.  Not even a glance.

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Write Here! Write Now!

Yeah!  It’s summer!  The time when teachers don’t have to work.  Right?  Ha!  This is the time for me when my work is a little more relaxed, but I’m still working – working to improve and better myself so I can be the best educator I can be for my students.  This is the time I can try out new ideas, read those texts that have been sitting on my shelf or virtual book shelf for months.  Sometimes, I wake up on mornings when I don’t have anything scheduled, and I’m almost paralyzed because I don’t know where to start.  All the choices are overwhelming!

This summer, I’m participating in a virtual writing workshop called Teachers Write.  I’ve committed to write almost everyday and participate in a group of almost 700 teachers and librarians across the country who will be sharing their writing as well.  How can I ask my students to do something that I don’t do myself?  Just in the last two days, I’ve made some discoveries about my own writing that will enable me to relate and help my students.  It’s only the second official day of summer, and I’m already excited about next year.

Next year, I will be asking my students to take risks and try something new.  How can I do that, if I don’t do it myself?  So, I decided to start a blog to hold and share some of the writing pieces from this summer as well as reflections.  As you can see it’s not perfect, but like our students and us, it is a work in progress – a living work.

Here is the link to Teachers Write if you are interested:

Today, the second day, we had a quick write prompt in which we wrote about a favorite place.  Here is my paragraph I shared:

Climbing over the dunes, the roar of the water greets me as if saying, “It’s about time you showed up,” and the roar subsides into a tinkling while the water laps sand from the beach like my cat lapping water from her bowl.  The sea gulls caw-call good morning.  As my toes barely touch the white sands of the beach in Port Aransas, Texas, my childhood washes over me like the waves wash ashore.  I don’t run across the sandy road this time, but happily struggle in my flip-flops across the dry, searing sand to the water while my kids call to me from the small stake of beach they have claimed as “ours”.  In the distance, oil tankers creep along the horizon, while under my toes tiny, unidentifiable creatures are ripped from their resting place then deposited farther inland only to dig furiously into the sand before hungry seagulls swoop in for a quick meal.  I wade through pockets of fishy air walking toward the water.  The smell hits you almost as quickly as it leaves you, but it’s not unpleasant.  Not able to take the heat anymore, I walk into the gulf, the water licking my legs providing immediate relief from the heat.  I unexpectedly stumble into a deeper part, and the water changes temperature by about 10 degrees, almost chilly, but soon I’m climbing onto a sand bar and wading through the greenish-bluish-brownish water looking for sand dollars.  Just one of the treasures you can find on the Port Aransas beaches.

If you are a teacher or librarian, it’s not too late to join the camp.  You can also check out the Facebook page.  I would link it here, but haven’t figured that out yet-still working on it.

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