Saturday afternoon I went down to the basement to work on, what I thought was going to be a poem about snow. But my thoughts turned toward discussions I had been in the day before regarding students, and those who have experienced trauma, and how we as school employees can help them. This poem is loosely based on a real story I heard from a student last week.
Teacher, why do you hate me?
Why do you tell me I'm stupid?
Why can't you tell me I did something good for once?
Other kids get smiles. I get scowls.
All I need is one kind word.
Teacher, how was your night last night?
You probably drove home to your warm, safe house, and cooked a healthy meal for your husband...
and you relaxed and maybe had a glass of wine to ease the tension of your day.
Teacher, do you want to know about my night?
When I got home, it was cold.
We don't have a furnace, so I had to chop some wood to get the woodstove going.
I come home to no one. Which is nice, at times.
Because often when I do come home, when people are here, the house is filled with the sound of yelling and hitting and there is no place to relax.
Teacher, there is no healthy food at my house.
Food is usually a low priority, when there is beer, cigarettes and weed to buy.
I haven't found a way to easy my tension at the end of the day. I get no relief.
Teacher, I wish I trusted someone to tell them my story.
Can't there be just one person out there who cares?
All I really need is a smile, a kind word, and maybe a hug.