Two Verses for Teachers


Last Day Beauty
after Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for finished things—
     For mighty pencils worn to nubs, dulled swords;
          For reams of paper, graded, in the bin;
Spent Expo markers; coffee rings;
     Lockers scuffed and slammed—old homework on the boards;
          And detritus in corners: wrapper, notebook, bobby pin.

All of us drab and tired, unexciting;
     Whatever is fallen, forgotten (or ignored?)
          With aromas of like, lust, love, and might have been;
He changes the whole story into summer: rewriting.
                   Praise Him.

i thank you God
after e.e. cummings

i thank you God for most this amazing
day: for the sleeping soundly forms of teachers
and a blank white dream of empty days; and for everything
which is learned which is graded which is yes

(i who have entered grades am still alive today,
which is not a hyper student’s birthday; this is the birth
day of a friend at whose party i can stay
past eleven no regrets)

how should planning managing grading coaching
comforting all—springing from the fickle energy
of caffeine—be refreshed except by
late nights porch sitting and wine?

(now the ears of my ears hear no whispers and
now the eyes of my eyes see no fidget spinners)

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