A Poem in Two Parts

 

Part 1: Metaphor to My Simile

I sat on the floor

pen and paper in hand

contemplating what I would try to get you all to understand,

yet I’m not sure any man or woman

could stand in my place and say it with elegance and grace

what need to be articulated to my class 1A.

 

Last Thursday when I broke the news

of the due date when I wouldn’t be in this class,

many of my scholars interpreted my absence

as neglect and abandonment.

Many of them might have even seen it as some form of punishment

thinking I want to be away or stay away

and some even think my absence is some kind of get away.

 

I’m glad you all asked me . . . or pushed me to write

This poem

these stanzas

these lines with or without rhyme

because now is the time to tell you all what’s on my mind.

 

Ahem . . .

I don’t like missing any 2nd of any class

and before you all pass me by 1 more time in the hallway,

lend me your ear at level 0 so you can hear what I have to say.

 

Let’s count it off.

 

One, I don’t like missing because I’m not sure everyone will honor you like I do.

 

Two, I’m not sure any sub will treat you like royalty like I see you.

 

Three, I have a passion for being with you and that’s just the reality.

 

Four, absent or tardy, when you come through that door

and when everyone is accounted for,

then and only then do I feel like we can move with achievement, success, and yes, even more.

 

Five, one of my number one reasons for being alive is to serve you with hope and challenges,

push back and applauses.

You need me like I need you so it sounds like we are all a bunch of dependent clauses.

 

Six, you all are like a metaphor to my simile

and this is no hyperbole.

I have no reason to exaggerate.

Each and every day I really like to see ya

even with your steady ups and downs, making groans and noises like onomatopoeia.

 

Seven, I recognize that you are a teen and some want to be heard and some don’t even want to be seen and that’s cool because

 

Eight, 8th grade has so many personalities and that’s why I have to give you “All of Me” so

 

Nine, please give me all of you

even when you’re mad at my absences and perfect imperfections,

all of my uncontrollable circumstances.  

You all please listen to my advances when I say

 

Ten, I don’t fret when it’s you without me because “I can see clearly now the rain is gone.”

The 7th grade leftovers of you are done.  

Whatever was . . . is dead and dry.

You are in 8th grade and your maturity is showing and that’s no lie.

 

Eleven, that’s why when I can’t be here, I prep you for us being apart, but I have no fears.

Scholars in 8th grade are some of the most mature scholars I’ve seen in years.

 

Twelve, I don’t tell you where to sit, but I keep you where you are.

If you are successful and it shows,

why would I move you around and knock you down like dominoes which leads me to

 

Thirteen, the superstitious number of luck.

I’m glad we gave that theory up.

You all aren’t lucky.

Your intentionality to be scholarly removes all luck.

You’re just ready to be trusted, sub or me, you all are the real treasures.

I’m just honored to be your teacher because

 

Fourteen, it’s a real pleasure.

 

Fifteen, so whether you applaud or not at the end of these lines,

I clap for you every day in my heart because I know where we’ve been

which means for me every day is a new start.

 

Part 2: No Snaps

I know that I make my 1A harass me

when I don’t show up for class consistently

so they think have permission to pass me

and label me insufficient with truancy

even though I can’t help all of the scheduling.

Sometimes the emails come in the evening

when you’re at home chilling and watching TV.

But oh, they don’t know about a teacher’s life

and how I’m always here to almost 7 at night

making copies and writing on white boards with the janitors, right

because I want the best for them and their lives.

I look in their eyes and all I can see is Fight! Fight! Fight!

No, not the kind with fists, but with words, right?

Talking symbols and propaganda til the bell rings

and feeling each word just like a bee sting.

These kids get deep like a switchblade

and if you can’t hear their thoughts, you need a hearing aid.

These active listeners don’t know when to give it a rest

One person wants to share and then everyone is next.

I love this class because they think they’re the best

and if you tell them otherwise, you might get hit in your chest.

no, not with fists but with a debate or contest

They swear up and down the exit ticket was easy.

Make it seem like everything in here is breezy

and that’s cool because they love learning.

 

I think your scores are great.

I really do,

so if you ask me why there’s a pain in my heart,

it’s because I really don’t know you.

 

Some think a label like “Honor Roll” or Commended” or grades like 80’s or 90’s make you great

and yet I overhear you in the hallways

and I know some of the people you’ve hurt

and it makes me wonder if you think life is one big checkmate.

 

Ms. Scott, where is this coming from?

This poem is supposed to be about you, not us.”

Thing is, I’ve told you a million times and I’ll say it again,

“I love you too much not to make a fuss”

So here it is. . .

 

Wherever 9th grade takes you,

decide to grow up and give up on

likes, tweets, thumbs up, and follows,

because just like an unnecessary end to a friendship,

all that is fake and will only leave your heart feeling hollow.

 

I’m trying to tell you,

you are the seed you plant.

You are the seed you put in the ground.

It’s okay and it’s right to grow up

and let negative, sneaky friends find someone else to be around.

 

This class, you’re too mature for me to turn the other cheek against the drama you create in your own life.

If you’re breathing, you were born,

and if you were born, you were born into a family,

and that right there has enough strife.

 

I want you to grow up and not follow the propaganda of bullying

under the hidden masks of likes or dislikes

like all that mess is right

you sittin’ up all night

thinking about your new followers

like it’s civil like a movement, right?

I want you to be civil,

way more than I want you to be right.

Give UP your right to be right

and instead fight for someone else’s.

 

You want some REAL likes and follows

stop being so hollow.

Shallow minds talk about people.

Great minds help them.

 

Who will you be?

 

This might, for your listening ears,

be my last poetry piece

and I’m okay with no snaps.

I’m okay with no applauses

because in the end, I’m after your character

and everything else is just white noises.

 

Anita Scott

Anita Scott

Poet & Perfromer at Anita Scott
Poetry has always been a second language for Anita. She has performed at local slam poetry and spoken word events. Now, the door is opening for her poetry in small groups and on stages around the United States where she has already shared the same mic with Micah Bournes and Amena Brown Owen. Her poems "Mary Go Round" and "Tears for the Motherland" clearly express Anita’s heart for justice regarding gender and racial reconciliation. People who have seen her perform all attest to the same thing: she is unforgettable.

Anita is also part of Ambassadors Alliance International, a passionate team of people who go into impoverished areas to assess their needs and provide help in the form of food, medical supplies, clothing, education, and job-training that will lead to self-sustainable change.
Anita Scott

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  • Terri

    Blown away. What a privilege and honor to be witness to your words and heart.

    • Anita Annette Scott

      Terri, you and Gayl are so encouraging. My heart finds hope and “keep going” rest in you all’s reply. Thank you! Thank you!

  • Patrick Bowman

    So powerful Anita. Wow, in an era where respect is short at hand you are living it in front of them and planting seeds of greatness. God bless.

    • Anita Annette Scott

      Thank you Patrick!! I love my kids, each and every one of them each year. Is it hard sometimes? Yep! Just like any other relationship. I just want to be a healthy image of love, patience, forgiveness, starting over, and compassion. It’s rare that “at risk” kids get to see Kingdom livelihood, so showing them to Jesus will point them to Jesus, Amen?!!

  • Anita, you are so animated and I am spellbound! I love how you relate to your students through these poems! Thanks you for sharing! Blessings to you!

    • Anita Annette Scott

      Gayl, your words are always, always so encouraging. I mean that.

  • So glad you read this aloud. Loved hearing the words on your heart coming out of your mouth.

    • Anita Annette Scott

      Ahhh thank you Amanda. Thank you sister