He came to school

My first week of teaching

With a black eye.

Beautiful blond-haired blue-eyed


For whom my heart aches still

All these years later

My father was a violent man

So I knew what that meant

though I asked why nevertheless

It’s not that teachers need answers to why questions

It’s that children need to speak and often can’t

We see so much more than

What exists in front of our eyes

And the answer doesn’t matter

The answer is always “because”

Because children make too much noise

because they don’t behave

because I’m angry

because I’m drunk

because your Mom makes me mad

Because my boss is bad


So the novice young teacher

Asks why yet again and the child

Tells a story of a rake in the barn

at his Grandmother’s house

except Randy is three feet tall

and the rake is five.

I drive him home and ask his Mom

who is hurting my Randy

and mention the police

and notifications

My intent is not to scare her

Though I secretly hope I have

And maybe it’s wrong to scare

An overburdened Mother into seeing

What is front of her

When I don’t know all the facts

Though I’ll accept those recriminations

For the smile on a little boy’s face

At the one adult who is standing by his side

With an arm wrapped around his shoulder

When the world chooses not to see his pain



All rights reserved. ©2015 by Sara Fryd


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