Clifton St.

You,

who needed the best of me,

got the worst.

A new green bud, I thought

I would bloom in your lavender walls

and cavernous classrooms,

but I suffocated on

district demands and

flippant leadership.

Unwavering colleagues

rained down support

and second period sophomores

were yellow sunshine,

taught me how to –

love.

hate.

want.

fail.

perservere.

teach.

How to value life,

community.

Post lunch class,

room thick with warmth.

We learned the other’s language

against a backdrop of numbers.

Your foreign soil fertilized me,

energized me, motivated me.

You,

who deserved the best of me,

got me at my newest, most vulnerable form.

You taught me, shaped me,

grew me

into the educator I am today.

I think about you –

in every first day,

every fresh face I see.

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