University of Minnesota
minnesota writing project
center for writing

Minnesota Writing Project.Center for Writing's home page.

Sherri Larson

Sherri Larson talking© 2007

How Was School Today?

I have
you home again.

All day I looked at you in your rows
and called your names and asked you not
to talk while I’m talking.  I asked you about the
baseball game and you asked what’s for lunch and I
took attendance and we tried to learn about semi-colons.
I read out loud and you read for 5 points.  I signed bathroom
passes and I lent out my last pencil.  I sent carefully constructed
replies to emails from your mom about missing assignments and then
I heard the bell and you had your cell phone to your ear, your keys in your
hands.  Your backpack bounced on your back as you sprinted to the parking lot.
I laughed and sighed and vented with other teachers at the end of the day, and when
my bag was packed with the assorted piles from the day and the parking lot had cleared
and only the fumes
of the busses
I left.
I meant to leave you there.
You weren’t supposed to, but
you followed me home and now
you are scattered around me and my
house in various forms:  you have smudged
my hands and my sweatshirt and my coffee table
with the soft lead of your penciled papers; paperclips
slip from your collected works; tiny spiral paper edges
from your notebook pages catch on my sleeves and stick
between the cushions of my couch, and I lose the tv remote
control under the precarious piles of your worksheets.  Irritated,
I write “Neatness counts!” on the top of your sloppy paper, but I am so
tired it’s messy so I have to cross it out and write it more legibly.  Another
episode of Law and Order begins its saxophone peal and I close the gradebook. I
memorize who still has a blank space for “journal # 6” and this will keep me up tonight
I will
to you