A Poetry Moment


Photo by Aja Riggs

Today I was in a meeting with a colleague when H. burst through the door clutching a piece of looseleaf paper. We stopped our conversation to see what she wanted, and for her part, H. looked momentarily stricken. Realizing she’d just interrupted a meeting in progress she sheepishly backed out of the room and into the hall. She then raised her fist, knocked on the doorpost and waited.

“Come on in,” I said, smiling at her attempt to make a new, more dignified entrance.

H., for those who haven’t been keeping up with my last few entries, is one of my students; a young mom who has struggled with school and struggled to keep her self-esteem up despite her struggles in school … and who has discovered poetry as an outlet, or rather an inlet to her soul … Lately she has just been brimming over with verse.

“Sorry,” she said, “I didn’t mean to interrupt, but I just wrote a poem and I wanted to show it to someone.”

Of course my colleague and I stopped our discussion and took turns reading H’s poem. We each gave her feedback about what we liked, and then I asked her what class she was supposed to be in.
“Oh,” H. said, flustered. “I guess I’m late now. But I couldn’t help it. I had a poetry moment …” she was still explaining over her shoulder as she rushed back to class.

A poetry moment! The phrase echoed in my head for the rest of the day. When was the last time I was late to a class or a meeting or work because I’d had a poetry moment? Frankly, it’s been too long.

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3 thoughts on “A Poetry Moment

  1. I don’t have something clever or poetic to say, just that I read your stories about H. It feels too trite to say “I loved them”, or “wow, you are an amazing teacher”. So please understand this is a comment without words.

  2. Ah, Poetry Moments! They are wonderful, aren’t they? There are two kinds of them, you know: private and social.

    There’s the creative Poetry Moment where the muse speaks, and if you don’t stop and listen right that moment, she gets ticked, keeping the words to herself. And then there’s the sharing Poetry Moment where you can’t help but share what’s finally been born, for validation, appreciation, or a little tempering.

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