Sept 9 – a teacher’s contemplation of a student on a hard day

Friday, September 9  “Did I Miss Anything?”

The end of week two of this teaching and learning year.  A deft poem giving its word’s to a teacher’s voice, and the teacher within the poem imagining the voices of students on a hard day.   It’s another subtle piece of writing, warranting several reads.

Thanks to the friend who sent this to the list.

Have a blest weekend.


john sj

Today’s post 

Did I Miss Anything?

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people  on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human experience
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been gathered

but it was one place

And you weren’t here


Tom Wayman  1945 –



This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.