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.