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giving voice



She walked in class, mascara smeared sideways across her face, “I am having a horrible day.”

Though this wasn’t the plan for our writing that day, the school social worker suggested she write about boundaries. I told her to write about whatever she needs to write about.  Because if there is something on our minds, something painful and pressing and full of energy, we need to go there and attend to that thing.  Because in that moment, there is no room for anything else.

Because, most of all, when we make space for our students to listen to their thoughts and to express what it feels like to be a human being in this world, we allow for the poetry of their souls to emerge.


I put my heart on my sleeve
but to you it was off-brand.

I put a good head on my shoulders
but I tend to crash, not land.

You said to cry you a river
I did so you could sail

But I ended up drowning and going off the rails.

I wonder who you are, who you were, who you want to be
but lord knows I’m an open book with no mystery

I was your rock but you needed a boulder
no matter how you treat me
I’ll let you cry on my shoulder

I’ll let you hit me before I ever fall
for you I’ll always call

But will you be there?
When I’m drowning in my tears?
When my life’s defined by fear?

I put my heart on my sleeve
I cried you a river
I tried to be your rock

Either way I’m going to
always be here.



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