Dear Lucille

After a long weekend I begin the teaching week heavier than usual. Even my glasses feel tight. So I turn to your latest volume for inspiration before facing class and open to photograph. Your poems, memories of your classes, are among my favorite things.


keep them turning    turning

black blurs against the window

of the world

for they are beautiful

and there is trouble coming

round and round and round

You dedicated this poem to your grandsons, spinning in their joy. What do I have to do for some of that joyous spinning to rub off on me today? I arrive on campus late, yet find a parking space close to the building that houses the office they have told me is mine yet will not allow me to arrange my books or desk in ways that suit me.

The trouble you mention is closer now. where, oh where, is the saving thing?

On my way in and up, I pass a license plate holder proclaiming “only great moms get promoted to nana.” We know otherwise. Yesterday was my birthday. Unlike you, I did not write myself a poem. I made a list yet did none of the things on it. I did not go swimming. I did not read. I have not yet learned the art of celebration. Perhaps that will be this year’s lesson.

The NCLR sent a text this morning asking us to complete the following:

Our economy won’t work without me because…

I responded reflexively something about teaching generations but the trouble is that the dysfunctional economy IS working for someone and the psychological wardrobe of Horatio Alger is paraded as sufficient and possible for everyone else. That’s why this myth has not been revealed, dismantled or replaced. Too many people will settle for changing places with the oppressor.

Though I miss you sorely, I am glad you got out when you did.

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