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LAce Posted Monday, October 8th, 2007
Jessica Taylor

I can just see you now.
All ninety-eight pounds —
You wiry waif.
Hair in bun or long crispy curls.
The only high school English teacher wearing
Halter top, wrap skirt, elfin clogs,
And glitter dusted on her collarbone.

But despite the care you took in getting dressed,
You are strung-out, with circles under your eyes that your concealer wonít hide.
Over the weekend you picked your son up off the Starlight Express.
You and he drove your broke Volvo back home to Philly late
With all of New Jerseyís florescence in your rear-view mirror.

You woke late to eat fried eggs, doughnuts, and coffee in the diner on the corner.
Took him for a day at the zoo. You reminisced of childrenís books gone by
And gave him one really good bath.

Later, Iím sure you drank a whiskey and had a smoke;
Pushed back the curtain to look out the window into darkness
While murmuring to your lover on the phone.

You are up the next morning running late making the same dash back to New York City.
You get home to shower, grade papers, and clean,
Before you meet a friend for Thai food.

And of course, you stay up late writing poetry, practicing your French inhale, listening to indie music;
Getting behind in your paperwork, grading, and TPS reports.

Which leaves us, of course, to where your students spied you Monday morning —
Too thin, smelling good, and hoping not to be discovered by the faculty
As you drank coffee straight from the pot in the teacherís lounge
fifteen seconds before the bell rang, and they joyously identified Ms. Gillespie as

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Donna Levy [ ] on Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 at 6:34 AM
G poured out of your pen as a full blown person whom we could reach and touch. Thanks for creating such an accessible characterization. Donna

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