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Poetry Friday : November 25, 2016.

My day had started with the car service picking me up at 6:45 AM. Now, after a full morning visiting classrooms, I slipped to Mr. L’s office to eat a late lunch: part from the hotel breakfast bar–hard boiled egg and orange–and part from my suitcase–an EPIC bison bar and some mixed nuts. I was enjoying the moments of solitude–listening to the city sounds rising to the second story open window mingling with the school sounds echoing down the hallway outside the office door.

As I ate, I noticed a book in the center of the bright blue school table. Brilliant flames on its cover made it stand out. I reached for it.


It fell open to “Mother to Son”  by Langston Hughes. I read:

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
. . .
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
. . .
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Slowly I reread the poem. I saw the images and heard the voice of the words. I looked at the opposite page and read Joe Nathan’s reflection.


I remember.
I won’t “set down on the stairs.” I won’t fall. I’m climbing.

Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach


Thanks to Carol’s Corner for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday!