Category Archives: school

what do you do

 

It’s graduation season here in northern Indiana.  The past two weekends have been taken up with high school graduation parties, awards ceremonies, after-parties, and of course the graduation ceremonies themselves.  This morning, I ran across one of the local valedictorians at the YMCA with his mother.  Yesterday, he had been on stage, addressing his class as they received their diplomas.  Today, he was just another sweaty t-shirt watching ESPN.  He looked tired, self-confident, and yet also… a bit lost.  How do you cope with a huge event?  How do you come to grips with a life passage?  The real work of the summer begins with commencement…

 

what do you do

after the helium balloons
have kissed back to the
ground the gaily painted
crocodile waddled
every back yard wiped
frosting from its teeth
and shed its share of tears
after all the platitudes
have burst in silver bubbles
and the orchestra packed up
after you have swept the
living room and ordered
meatball subs even though
you’re not hungry and
stared at the cards and cut
your toenails at the sink
after you have driven your
mother to the Y and found
yourself running twenty miles
on the treadmill twenty miles
without stopping because
that’s all you know and
there’s nobody to tell you
what to do when you get off

 

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New school

He didn’t want to go to school that day
The kids were scary, he hated lunch
And the custodian was mean.
At last, his mother told him
The first day is the worst
But it’s a nice place
And besides that
You’re a fine
Teacher,
Son.
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