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Look! I wrote a new poem.

The names and specificity of the incidents have been altered to respect the privacy of my students, but the general sentiment is accurate.

Annoying Children

Sitting under a yellow maple,
reading a poem about whales by Billy Collins
except I’m not reading a poem about whales by Billy Collins
because Sarah needs a spoon for her pudding
and Sophia needs water
and Emma claims to need water, too,
but only wants to go inside with Sophia because they are friends.

All I want to do is read this poem.
I want to hear Billy’s voice in my head.
The same voice I heard that night in the rain at the Sunken Garden
when my wisdom tooth hurt and I could barely speak.
But I can’t read this poem because now Tess needs a book
And Emma still wants water – Sophia or no Sophia
and Nathan needs a Band-Aid.
Somehow this 10 year old boy has cut himself while reading in the autumn leaves.

I just want to enjoy the rhythms of Billy and his whales,
but instead I suffer the incessant rhythms of these children.
My students.
Doing the things that kids do
That make me so crazy and
Make me want to be their teacher.