What the world whispered

You are not your resume.

We were talking
with Grade 11 students
about documenting their lives
for college applications
“Don’t sign up for extra-curriculars
because they will help
get you into college.
Do them because this is your life.
Your life
doesn’t start when you graduate
from high school
or college
or some other day marked
with the wearing of long dresses
and/or funny hats
and the drinking of champagne.
This is your life.
Now.
And now.
And now.”

Sometimes the muse
moves through you
like a freight train
and utters
these things.
(Let her.)

At at an assembly,
the former
Student Council President
said to his peers,
“It’s only awkward
if you make it awkward.”
Then he laughed.
I hugged him later
to thank him
for those words.

A friend told me a story
about his young son
riding his bike
down the stairs
inside the house.
He told his son
how proud of him
he feels.
When the boy asked why
(the way that boys do),
my friend
gave examples from his son’s life.
What my friend
is really proud of
is that his son is
engaged
and
taking risks.
That he is really alive.
Shouldn’t this be
what all parents
want for their children?

On the way home
from school,
the foreigners’ cemetery
glowed golden
with late afternoon sun.
“Live”
whispered the cemetery.

12 comments

  1. Skinny prose – I love that description. I called it a poetic essay in my mind. Whatever it is, I love the way you write (and I love Japan too, although I haven’t been there in a while).

  2. Delighted to find your blog. As one who has benefited from International teachers in both Cairo and Pakistan I love that you are sharing your work with the world. There are so many teachers that we’ve encouraged to go into international teaching. I don’t think it gets much better.

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