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Pieces of Peace #21

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Whenever I teach my students

how to write “Where I’m From” poems

I crave the past,

popsicles and Christmas tree flocking

falling on presents Mommie promised

I crave Nana’s baking

her back aching

and her cigarette scented hugs.

I peek into poetic memories

of young writers now college scholars

and I read.

I read Where I’m From poems

from 2002 and 2004

Precious people whose paths and mine

crossed

and tangled footprints in sand

eventually blew with wind and tears

back to my heart

where I protect the peace

in each piece I read.

I find my poem from 2008

When I was from making enchiladas

and summers in swimming pools

But I sense some missing peace

in my piece.

I don’t read that aloud

but it still shouts and makes my skin sweat.

Instead I listen

to what my class is writing

in a 15-minute warm-up.

Every voice is valued.

I praise one for its musical memories

Another for its vivid visuals of family traditions

But when I hear rich rhymes

and unexpected innocence

about loving frogs and butterflies

from the kid who never tries

I saw his light shining from trickster eyes.

I’m from never giving up

just keep writing

you’re on this one

and poems have power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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