Sunday, January 4, 2009

It Wasn't Her Fault

This is one of my poems I submitted for publication in a North Carolina anthology.

She came to the class, dress
grimy and ripped at one sleeve,
one bologna sandwich in
the crumpled brown bag
that she’d sneak tiny mouse
bites from time to time to ward

off the cramps from hunger. She
came to the class with fever, often
sick. She’d spend so much time
in the nurses office, resting, curled
in the fetal position, trying to stay
warm. Her young life ambition, to feel

warm. She came to class ill prepared,
ill equipped for the day’s journey. No
notebooks, pencils, or crayons. No wool
sweater across her thin shoulders. No sleep
from being on guard the night before. No
food to ignite the brain synapses. No thought
beyond the warm classroom, the bologna
sandwich, and the night that lay ahead.


Victoria said...

This poem just tears at my heart. I think about several little girls who have been in Bob's classes, how this poem probably well describes the lives they live, and I'm so glad you wrote what you wrote.

Victoria said...

I forgot to write earlier about just how perfect the title is - how healing and how TRUE> It's such a core truth that it absolutely wasn't her fault.

Mary said...

Teachers could benefit from reading this poem, Judy. So often people really don't realize the environment children live in. I was probably / undoubtedly guilty sometimes too....of just not realizing.................