April, 4/6

Good Friday to ye! I am off to class today at Stockton; then hoping to check out the new student art gallery afters –– the one built atop a pool there.

Today’s poem was written/”published” last year (as an audio file) on the TYCA web site as part of their Poetry Month Celebration; it was written for/partly inspired by a creative writing class I was teaching last spring down in Court House…

(Have a good Easter weekend, you!)

Teacher’s Heart

Dreamt last night some students
wanted to make a Xerox of my heart;
asked to borrow it.
In a moment of haste, I consented.

Maybe they had lost theirs;
should’ve asked them that –– I should’ve.
“Where are yours?” should’ve said.
“What happened to
the ones I handed out yesterday?”
But I didn’t ask, instead.
Then, in the dream, I just lent it out
to them. It’s what we do ––
what we feel we must do.
I would give you students all of me,
I sometimes fear, and forget to save some
    for myself.

Woke up in the dream, I did, some time later.
My mom, mentor in teaching, and I
in a glass room,
watching a science fair enact itself in
space down below.
One student held some Yorick thing up in hand (alas).
We saw it through the glass.
Mom asked, “Is that a human heart he has?”
Like a stage prop, the dumb pump; but ––

At that moment, chest seized,
I realized,
they hadn’t returned it [the original]
from that earlier scene.

In a writing seminar next day
one student claims that
a fish’s heart, if pulled from the animal
and placed in a bowl of Gatorade,
will continue to beat. The electrolytes
charge the heart, he explains ––
the Fishenstein Monster beating on
against the current
until the electrical current’s past.
The bird in my own rib cage flutters at this,
beating and beating against the bars,
come back to life –– come back.

A fish heart beating in a bowl of Gatorade.
It is a beautiful image.
It is a beautiful truth.
I don’t want to know if it is not true.
I only want to take it,
place it in this poem
and watch it tremble.

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