Naked Reflections Poetry: Shameless and Unapologetic

Tag Archives: Children

Teach Heart (Day 15 of 30)

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Today’s prompt is to write an acrostic analogy poem. This poem is for my students and coworkers in quarantine.

Teach Heart

Teach is to inspire as

Education is to inquire

Academics are to be second when

Children’s needs are to be first 

Heart matters more than

 

Having scores rise or fall

Everyone is to quarantine

As no one is to gather

Remote learning is to disengagement as

Teaching from home is to a call and silent response

They Haven’t Yet (Day 7: An Ekphrastic Poem)

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Today’s Prompt: Write an Ekphrastic Poem. Spend time in the scene of a photograph and write a poem in response to the work of art. My poem is a response to Group of African American Children Playing from the early 1900’s.

They Haven’t Yet

They haven’t yet heard their mamas wailin’
When their daddies got caged no chance for bailin’
“Don’t understand, ain’t done nothing wrong!”
But skin too black and mind too strong

They haven’t yet gone to the Negro schools
Where white folks be callin’ them nasty fools
Young church ladies try their hands at teachin’
On Sunday evening after pastors done preachin’

They haven’t yet been beaten or kicked in the streets
But they seen Hatred ridin’ behind white sheets
White men breedin’ their power and hate
In a country where nothin’ ain’t never been great

They haven’t yet stood in line to vote
Rights and equality ain’t even been wrote
Their own children haven’t yet been born
In a nation where they’ll forever be scorned

They haven’t yet died while trying to live
They had only one smile and laugh to give
They had only one hand and hope to hold
They had only each other to love and behold

Persevere and Hustle

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The Urban Dictionary says that hustle is

to have the courage, confidence,

self-belief and self-determination

to go out there and work it out

until you find the opportunities you want in life.

 

My full-time hustle is teaching children

Teaching novice teachers is my part-time hustle

I have to keep going.

Facing my students

praying for my students

preparing my students

to go out there

with courage, confidence,

self belief and self-determination

to find the opportunities

they want in life.

 

I have to hustle for them

not just for me

because by the time they graduate high school

and by the time they get their teaching credentials

someone will have said

they can’t do it, won’t have it, shouldn’t dream it

and someone will try to wash the color from their hearts

and build steel cages around their freedom

and distract their perseverance

until they can’t even utter a syllable of success.

 

But I will push the hustle into them

like it was pushed into me

and I will thank them for sticking with it

like they thanked me for not giving up on them.

 

#keepitreal2018

 

 

 

Lessons I Learned from Domestic Violence: Prompt 8 “No Visitors”

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San Bernardino School Shooting

Husband enters classroom

kills wife

and an 8-year old student

before killing himself.

I do not want visitors

while I am teaching.

We protect and serve

in classrooms

that are presumed safe.

Students should know

that no one would hurt them

inside of school.

Teachers settle arguments

and stop fights between students.

Teachers diffuse anger

and never tolerate bullying.

Teachers prepare lessons

group students for special help

and sit with individual children

who need that one-to-one time.

Karen Elaine Smith’s student

Jonathan Martinez

had Williams Syndrome

and probably spent many days

at his teacher’s side.

Karen Elaine Smith

did not have a chance

to protect herself or her students

but I believe Jonathan felt safe

as he ascended to heaven shortly after her

while she assuredly led the way.

Teachers and students don’t need visitors.

A surgeon does not receive visitors in the O.R.

Visitors are prohibited from approaching judges’ benches

Athletes don’t welcome visitors in the middle of a game.

But we who provide education

for students who seek careers

as doctors, judges and athletes

open our doors

open our arms

open our hearts

and give welcoming smiles

completely unaware that our visitors

may be armed

may be dangerous

may be ready to die.

How would the office staff know

that a visitor intends harm?

If someone needs to talk to the teacher

during instructional time

it should be forbidden

for the sake of the children’s learning time

and out of respect for the teacher’s time.

It should be forbidden

to interrupt protected classrooms

where students believe they are safe

where teachers leave their personal issues inside their homes

where unsettled family problems are locked outside the gates

and where life’s lessons

that children come to school to learn

won’t be nightmares of their classmates and teachers

shot in their safe zone

by a visitor.

 

Rest in Peace Karen Elaine Smith and Jonathan Martinez

 

 

 

 

Pieces of Peace #11: A Peaceful Struggle

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one child chooses to look at porn

other children snitch

another child coughs up mucus

too close to my face.

one child cheats on his assignment

other children rush carelessly through

another child uses the “b word”

lies to my face.

one child requests me on Instagram

other children follow him

another child’s eyes shine in shock

from the look on my face.

where was my peace today?

porn was not watched on my watch

the mucus never touched my face

the children who rushed, asked to start over

and I never heard the “b word”

but I did hear, “God bless you”

after all 28 snotty, disgusting sneezes.