I wrote this piece during my first year teaching, a time of stress and wonder and learning how the heart of the teacher has to expand and expand and expand without breaking apart.
On those nights
When my heart is so full
(Of wonder and longing and dreams)
And it’s just too hard to exist inside
The reality of tomorrow
Of the grind
Of I Must
Not a weak tear drop,
But chunky, soaking
Crocodile tears, as they say.
And it feels right and rooted
To revel in the ache and the emptiness
Of being connected,
Of feeling so fervently the pain of others
To feel joy and pleasure as deeply as I feel pain would be ground-shaking and heart-breaking.
To hear your heart mending back together
Each stitch a relief, a respite –
As loudly as I hear the tinkling of cracks
Widening across the expanse of the plains of my pain-wrecked heart.
That would be a sight worth the retching
Wreck I’m left as after empathy rears its
nasty but necessary head.
To be able to see the thread
As I sigh into a hug.
To feel the itch that means it’s healing
more profoundly than the breaking apart,
That would be a reason
Not to mind the crying.