Lest I Forget

Lest I forget. Find beauty even in the quiet of a gloomy day. It’s there. Especially if love is there; I do not take anyone for granted.

The Email that Vanished and Good Bye to a Best Man

About five months ago, I started this blog and got an email associated with the blog. At first, I added that email to my phone and my computer at home. However, since I only got spam- like email there, I removed that email many many months ago.

However, tonight I saw an email from the daughter of one of my husband’s dear childhood friends. She informed us that her father had passed away, and asked to contact her. My husband asked me to reply as soon as possible, so I went into the next room and logged onto the computer.

However, her email was gone. Completely gone. Absolutely completely gone. Not in spam. Not in deleted. Not in trashed. Not an archive. Simply nowhere.

Since two of us saw the email, I knew I was not crazy. I knew we had actually seen it. And I remembered enough about the writer to be able to find her by her career and institution where she works.

And then I added back the email to my phone for my blog, the blog here. And there was her original email, notifying us of father’s death.

Her father had been the best man at our wedding. Her father was a very dear dear dear friend to my husband, who is a quiet and gentle soul, and appreciated his friendship very much.

There is no way I should’ve seen the original email at all. It is not surprising that it disappeared; rather, it is surprising that I saw at all since it was not on my phone, that email, nor on my computer.

Sometimes glitches with technology can work out. I’m not going to make it anymore than that.

However, we had been wondering what happened to his dear friends since he didn’t reply anymore to our texts or emails.

And now we know. Now we can mourn him, and send our love out into the universe and to his family.

Sometimes glitches can actually help us.

Thanks for reading this, and I hope all the little glitches in your life help you.

Changing Seasons Type of Day

img_2303  Trying this blog entry from my cell phone–that’s risky! I am outside and just do not want to go INSIDE and log onto a computer… 

What an odd day, a day mixed with joy and sadness. 630 AM—still dark—road closed ten seconds before the intersection where I turn to get to work and a truck started pouring hot tar in two lanes. Semi ahead of me kept knocking down tree branches (too big for the small amount of the lane still open) and construction cones. I had to get out of the car in the dark to move the cones, but finally a construction worker let me through.

11 hours of work (part time !) Some middle school kids on the college campus today. So cute. So loud. Sipping their pumpkin spice sugared drinks waiting for the presentation they were here for.

Some students asked if I could teach them next term.

Drove home in the dark.

Sad loved one’s health news.

Two more poetry rejections.

Glad I’m part time. This won’t happen often. To work in the dark. Home in the dark.

Glad for modern medicine which may help family member.

And frogs! I’m sitting outside in the dark with my trusty tennis racquet (you know… in case of critters) and with a spotlight hearing LOUD FROGS. It’s that warm now!?!??!! Wind blowing off so many remaining leaves.

Love hearing those frogs. Thought I’d not hear them for months, until spring.

Truly a changing season type of day.

(Picture taken with my little camera phone while sitting in the dark, soft rain… back flashlight light on the bush. I’m such an adventurer.)

Thanks for reading; may your seasonal changing days change well, with kindness and hope.

At First, I Walked by (essay from several years ago)

From several years ago, when I was an exhausted nearly broken full-time teacher at a large high school, I wrote this:

I WALKED BY…AT FIRST…

And I did walk by him, started to go to my car. I did not want to stop. It had been a rough, rough day…. and tomorrow I had a tough formal observation tomorrow, really tough observer.

But I had to go back. No, no, I thought. We are here for the kids. A moral duty. I KNOW something’s not right.

He had the look I’ve seen on kids who are homeless, waiting for the taxis to take them to their shelters.

Taxi companies don’t like these fares, for the suburban companies don’t get return trips from the shelters and they don’t get tips from the kids.

And yes, he’d been waiting for FIVE HOURS for a taxi. Soon, he would HAVE to leave the building , since it would be locked up.

Fortunately, I found the late security person, a wonderful SK I must thank more tomorrow. She and I found the taxi company, insisted they come soon as they had a contract with the school, then waited until the taxi came and RK got in the taxi. Don’t let him out of our sight, I told SK. I was afraid he’d be dumped on the corner.

And I cried. Ashamed I’d not wanted to stop. Annoyed I was so tired. Ashamed that I’d become one of those teachers, who put the stuff we teach above the kids.

As we are told, it’s our job to teach, not be social workers.

But who would look out for the RK’s of the school if not us? He had no other way home. He looked exhausted, dirty, and hungry.

As to the latter? Good thing I had treats in my car for the creative writing club that meets later this week.

RK took “home” brownies and protein bars.

He shook my hand as he left, made him write down my name and SK’s name, reminded him we wanted him in school and apologized for adults letting him down.

His eyes, his eyes, his eyes. The eyes of an old man who’d seen too much in a 15 year old boy.

 *  *  *

The next day, RK was not in school.  I never saw him again. Did I imagine this entire incident? No, I had called my boss for help, not knowing what to do. I wasn’t leaving a 15 year old alone.  My boss called her boss who offered to come sit with RK, and I said no, I’m already here, I am sitting with SK from security, and I will stay until he gets his ride.

I’m sorry, RK, I almost forgot why I’m a teacher. I’m ashamed of what I’ve become. What we have sometimes become as we stress over and with corporate “reforms” that put test scores and “growth” scores on the backs of teachers who need to support their families, too and sometimes pit student needs vs. teacher needs to survive.

It’s not right. It’s not good enough.  My reaction was not good enough.

I nearly kept on walking.

Please read this blog by an amazing writer. What she has to say is important, for our actions can have long-term ramifications, things we never even think about.

“Are you dreaming?” my life coach asks me every time I see her, pen poised above her yellow legal pad. I shake my head no, yet that isn’t quite truthful. I can’t find words to describe the flutter of wings against my face or the vision of joining a collective flock evading a net. [It’s […]

via Bird by Bird: Grant Writing Research for Chicago Audubon Society — Laura Jean Bailey

Publications, updated

9 wordle  Some of my poems, short stories, and nonfiction articles are included in books and magazines published in the UK, Greece, New Zealand, and the United States.

“The Night is Our First Language,” poem, published in The Poetic Bond VIII print issue, November 2018, 

“Click” and “They Left the Bed,” poetry published in The Poetic Bond VIII print issue, November 2018.

*”Moving Gravel” a short story at Crack the Spine – Themed Anthology Submissions – -“Routine”, print edition, 2018.

*”Walk With Child” at https://www.snapdragonjournal.com/  September 2018 Issue, “Here and Gone.”

*Coffin Bell Journal,2018, “Herstory,” a poem, published October  2018,https://coffinbell.com/herstory-lesson/

*Spillwords Press, 2018, a poem, “Stopped” by Laura Lee at Spillwords Press.

*Tuck Magazine, June 2018, a poem at Tuck Magazine.

*Tuck Magazine,  May 2018, a poem at Tuck Magazine.

* Southernmost Point Guest House (UK), poetry.

* Journal of Modern Poetry 21 (Volume 21), “Hell, No,” a poem at JOMP Volume 21 Dear Mr. President.

* Journal of Modern Poetry 20 (Volume 20), JOMP Volume 20 Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy.

* Journal of Modern Poetry 17 (Volume 17), JOMP Volume 17. 

* Magazine (New Zealand) , Raewyn Alexander, Publisher
Raewyn Alexander NZ

* Fiction in: http://staxtes.com/2003/
“Between the Sunlight and the Skipping” in English Wednesdays

*Poetry in: https://poetsagainstthewar.org/ Archives

* Illinois English Bulletin, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, nonfiction article about teaching in an alternative education program.

* Poetry in Marginalia, Elmhurst, IL