Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

John Samuel Tieman: For a public school teacher

Brian Rutter 1982 – 2017

Today, the day after you died, all I remember is our classroom

next door to each other, rooms filled with chalk boards, bulletin


boards, and all the times we’d say “You’ll survive.”

After I heard, after the denial


I remember all the books we never had enough of

the curtains we never had at all


the students we always had too many of

those endless papers with no time to grade


and all the times we didn’t just walk out and all the times we said

to each other, “If not you, then who – who else will do this job?”


Today I think of those rooms in which we sat long after

the kids left, long after that last yellow bus, after the broken


desk, after we picked up the torn book and threw away

all the crumpled paper, after all those broken things


I still hear you at 8 AM, “Get out your books and turn …”

I still see you point to a page


and I reread all the emails I got from all your old students

today and I’m amazed at all you have become.


Copyright 2018 John Samuel Tieman

One comment on “John Samuel Tieman: For a public school teacher

  1. lorrie
    May 8, 2018

    Mind shapers, challengers of reality, launchers of possibilities. Where would we be without out teachers! Thank you for your service to the great good.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on May 8, 2018 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , , , .

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