Musings, Teaching, Unbound

Reality Bites

Three and a half weeks. Twenty-three days. Five hundred fifty-two hours. Thirty-three thousand one hundred twenty minutes. That is how much time remains until Christmas break.

It’s a bit comical that school resumed from a week long Thanksgiving break today and I am already counting down until the next one.  Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. I have the best kids that a freshman Pre-AP English teacher could wish for.

It’s just that I feel I can’t hear myself between the shuffling of papers, clickety-clack of keyboards, white noise of whispered conversations and sometimes garbage truck rumblings of class discussions, and the high pitched bleating of a period bell. Even now I am struggling to really put out what I mean because thoughts of tomorrow’s lessons and papers that need to be graded are vortex within me.

Last night, I wasn’t tired when it became time for bed. I wanted to write, but the words were stuck behind the grading, planning, and professional development I felt I should’ve done over the break. Instead, I stayed up to watch a few episodes of the show I’m currently bingeing. Two and a half hours after I should’ve been asleep, I lay stationery in bed while my mind raced against the coming of an early morning.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, a few tendrils of light filtering through my curtains lit up the edge of the journal on my nightstand like an invitation. I tried to remember when I had last written an entry and what that entry had concerned. I knew then the real question should have been why haven’t I written in so long.

Before the Thanksgiving break, I was a frenetic madwoman on the precipice of panic. I teetered back and forth in the cacophony of sound that was my day to day, and my ability to be who was needed in the classroom and in my relationship started to fail. Over the break, I had the chance to listen and to write and to renew. I knew this is what I needed, of course. It’s just sometimes that voice is drowned out by life.

Looking at the neglected pages of the journal, I was promptly reminded that I am only as successful as my ability to hear myself emptied upon the page.

In response to Daily Prompt: Bite
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Silence” by pasja1000 (CCO Public Domain)
Poetry, Unbound

Elegy for Her We Love

I wrote this for my mother when she passed away last July and delivered it at her memorial service.  Beginning shortly before Thanksgiving and carrying on through the New Year, I feel the greatest sense of loss.  The holiday season is always tough, especially when you’re missing one of the things that always made it special.  Reading through the elegy I wrote for her always helps me feel closer to her.  I hope that whomever you’re missing as you read my words that you’re able to feel closer to them as well.


How does one find the words to grieve?
How does one find the words to comfort?
For all the richness of the world’s lexicon,
I am still a pauper’s poet.

Lament; a definition:
A passionate expression of grief or sorrow.
The passion of those
with broken hearts, broken wings, broken spirits.

All too soon the joy that makes us bright is taken;
called to fulfill some ethereal purpose.
We who are left woefully behind
do not bemoan their destiny.

Instead, we grieve for ourselves
and the emptiness their absence leaves.
And, so, I beg with a daughter’s heart,
infuse this poet with your brilliant light.


The things we remember most of her we love
are the special, stolen moments
of laughs, smiles, and twinkles of the eyes
because here we know we are alive.

The things we remember most of her we love
are the words of wisdom shared in stressful times.
The “Sissy, it’ll all work out. You’ll see.”
And “Baby girl, it’ll be alright.”

The things we remember most of her we love
are the tender moments that make you feel safe.
A kiss fluttering on the cheek.
A soft whisper of “I’ll miss you. I love you. Be safe.”

Of the things we remember most,
we must always hold
that those we love are not lost.
We only need to look and solace will be found.


We can find solace in the bluesy sway of an Elvis song.
We can find solace in the red-washed sunset sky.
We can find solace in the dewy folds of a rose.
We can find solace in the cardinal fluttering by.

We will find her in the smallest of places
like in the scent of vanilla or taste of pecan pie.
We will find her in the greatest of places
like within the love she gave that in ourselves resides.

For in these majestic moments of the mundane:
There you will see the way her smile lights up her face.
There you will feel the warmth of her embrace.
There you will find she lives on.

In response to Daily Prompt: Missing
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Christmas Luminaries” by Jill111 (CC0 Public Domain)