Another April National Poetry Month Poem

handsA few days after the anniversary of Columbine but I found a rough draft of a poem I started then. Here it is all prettied up.


Five minutes before first period
the faculty is alive with how
to present the deaths. Tick.
I read my students Stafford’s poem
about pushing a dead deer
into a river. Look for the good
in it. Why lie? I know nothing.
If I were home in my rented room
I’d dance like a Dervish
in the dismal kitchen
until I dropped like a dead doe
to the white tiles. Tick.
Cream walls, twenty pale kids
at cream-colored desks upon a sea-green
floor beneath a ceiling spangled
with billions of black holes
lined up like students
in varnished desks. Tick.
Leaving Building B I turn
toward the swings. Asphalt
out to the edge where a maple
squirms into a roiling sky,
tips turning red with spring,
life once more finding its way
through stiff veins. All the way
to my car I hold onto that one thing.

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