Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Valediction Forbidding Grading

As I sit and scribble madly away
And tell Jared to find patience
Jonah peers over my shoulder and whispers,
"I think she's almost done." But Lauren knows: "No."

They leave me to grade
Surrounded by towering white wrinkled stacks
A red pen in one hand
The other buried, a claw, in tumbled wild curls.

And whilst I am lost in the land
Of misused homophones and elusive commas,
They set the table, fold their laundry,
Wait patiently for me to emerge.

Sadly, I crawl from that desperate land
Long after they have passed into dreams.
And as I bend over their soft sweet cheeks,
Breathing deep and smoothing damp curls

I weep inside at the hours and minutes
I have placated them with empty promises
My fingers wrapped too tightly around that pen
Instead of twining with their yet-small fingers.

And I resolve that next week, I will say no.
I will leave the work at school and come home
To them with an empty satchel and open arms
And time to listen to their dreams.

At least for a few days of five, I will be a mother
More than a teacher:
Giving my family the woman they need
Instead of the shell they've grown to accept.


jen said...

Kir, This was beautiful
I've seen you mother, and it is Very Apparent that those kids are your Light. It was a remarkable thing to watch. No one would ever doubt that. Not even those kids. It amazes me how we have all grown from selfish children into these All Grown Ups with whose only desire is to give our kids exactly what they desire! Wouldn't trade it for the world.
You are a Great Mother.

Anonymous said...

what does "valediction" mean?... from "Princess Bride"....
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


and, not be the devil's advocate here... but does blogging fit in before or after grading papers?

keep yer spirits up, Kir - as Jen said, you're a great mother (and are bringing up some great kids).


Kir said...

Thanks, guys, for your kind comments. I wasn't looking for an ego petting, but I certainly won't say no to it. Just wanted to vent about how tired we all were by mommy's paper load this last week.
And Thad, grading USUALLY takes precedence over grading. And "valediction" means "farewell."

Anonymous said...


re-read your last comment.
how does "grading USUALLY takes precedence over grading."????

I assume one of those "grading" words was supposed to be "blogging"... but which one?


Kir said...

I meant grading usually takes precedence over blogging. Thanks for keeping me honest. :)