Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Want...

I want someone to put the world back together.  The sky seems to be crumbling, and as I sift through the dust, I want to squeeze my eyes and imagine I’m just Chicken Little.   I want a man painted with red and blue spandex to scale my house.  I want Wonder Woman to arrive and demand that everyone instantly starts embracing love, peace and sexual equality.  And then, once the super heroes arrive, I want Athena to suddenly appear and conveniently usher in wisdom.

I want the paranoia to dissolve. I want teaching to crawl from its anvil of checklists and prescription, and once again reassume its spot as an art.   I want us to see kids as human beings and not data, and teachers as shapers not disseminators and interveners.  I want kids to play outside again, and I want imaginations to soar.  I want us to remember what its like to dream.  I want us to be good.  I want us to think.  I want us to read.  I want us to color outside the lines. 

And I want us to trust.

I want people to listen to Walt Whitman and be curious not judgmental.  I want our voices to matter.  I want bitterness and revenge to melt away.  I want us to work together.  I want us to accept, to challenge, to refocus on what matters.  I want us to strip away the hypocrisy, the jealousy, and the greed.  I want us to reach out our hands, help each other up, pat one another on the back, and say, “you can do it; you matter,” because everyone matters.

I want to wake up feeling lighter.  I want to rise like the flag.  I want to reach for the moon.  I want unity.  I want love.  I want people to stop killing—with words and guns and bombs.  I want decency and civility. I want people to be generous and authentic and kind.

And until all of that arrives, I suppose I’ll have to be happy that Athena lives in my books, and my family and friends still make me smile.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Beneath the Scum

It was then that I came crumbling down—
Like the buildings,
Like the airplanes,
Like the hearts and the guts and the papers,
The papers that should have been consumed
Instead of the steel.

It was then that the air tasted like burnt wires—
Like cotton candy flavored with gasoline,
Like tornados of dust,
Like the people who jumped and burned and cried,
The people who never got to live the rest of their life
Because of some else’s hatred.

It was then that I saw my reflection in the glass—
Like a good friend telling me that my dress is too tight,
Like my soul whispering its deepest desire,
Like a foggy image in dirty water,
Hidden by a plate of pond scum
Beautiful beneath the weeds.

It was then that I smelled my calling—
Like my husband’s after shave streaked on his collar,
Like truth stinking up the statehouse,
Like vanilla pomegranate slicing through ash,
Killing the odor of fear and horror and sadness
And the scent of my neighbors who never came home.

It was then that I knew I would become someone else—
Someone who strove to stain the world with compassion.
I would no longer climb ivy-lined ladders.
I would cease to exploit emotions for a living.
I would honor, I would give, I would live.
And every time I woke up, I’d look up—past the scum—and forgive.