Thursday, October 6, 2016


Ms. Heckman had a faint mustache
We laughed about it as
We sat with our heads down
Tilted to one side
So we could each have a half of the headphones
While we listened to Zeppelin and Nirvana
Rage Against the Machine, sometimes Primus

Mr. Fox-Bailey taught us about poetry structure
I can't say I gave enough effort
Because my poetry is about as refined
As a big box of mismatched Lego pieces
He also taught us how to appreciate words and
That part I paid attention to

Mr. Berg
Me and Eli goofed around
Made fun of all the "o's"
And "el" this, "la" that
"Bean burrito, por favor-o"

Ms. Michaels taught literature and English
I only got a B but damn if it wasn't my favorite class
Something about learning to write out my thoughts
Gave me a key to life that for me is priceless

School band was fun but mostly I played in my own rock bands
Outside of school
With you and Jake and Kevin
We loved what we were doing
My future wife did too
And she still loves to watch me play
Twenty years later

What should I have done with school?
Took it more seriously, I suppose
I enjoyed it, never flunked anything
Never aced anything either
It was just sort of there

Now that my own kid is in school
I hope he enjoys it
Finds something he loves to learn about
Because learning is hard
When you may or not ever use it
And you'd rather play rock 'n' roll with your friends
And watch your future goddess of a wife
Clap after every song

For Poets United.


  1. I like this poem very much. Real teachers. Real life. Real situations. Yes, sometimes one looks back and wonders what one should have done, especially when one has kids of one's own. Sounds like you found a good path though. And, hey, you learned to write poetry. I bet your 'kid' will find his/her own path as well...following YOUR example.

  2. Yes, it seemed very real. Who can know, after all, we often have not idea, who we are, what we will need...or that we will need anything. I think most of us, look back and see we squandered the opportunity....such is life. Maybe we would all rather play in the "out of school" rock band, don't know we are just stupid kids.

  3. I love this so Much! Sounds like school was pretty cool for you.

  4. How about that! A student who paid attention in his/her own way, remembering way more than most! This is such a fun read for me, who always pushed students to desire excellence. But I also apprecated the others who were present and enjoyd life with less stress and more humor. This is a great poem for the next generation to read.

  5. How familiar this sounds! Brings back memories of my school years with very similar teachers :-)