when my students’ community is broken

Today my heart shattered into a million pieces of stain-colored glass.

My students, with despondent faces, entered my classroom. The air was heavy.

“What’s up guys?”

Crack quiet.

“What’s going on guys?”

Splinter silence.

“Is everything ok guys?”

Splitting stillness.

One brave student:

“Miss, did you hear about the shootings?”

Oh. Right. The shootings. I mean those shootings. I mean those shootings. I mean, how many more shootings do I have to mean!?

“Miss that happened right by my house. I’m scared to go home.”

“Me too.”

“Yeah, by mine too.”

“Me too.”

Disintegrating destruction.

I step over my fragmented heart, walking like a circus performer across a knife-tight-rope. Except this is no circus. This is war.

“What can I do?”

From the cavern of my heart, a tidal wave of grief pours down my cheeks. I hope it reaches their souls. I hope in its liquid sorrow there is love and peace and light and just one iota of safety.

Because what can I do? I come home to my safe mountain home, filled with joy and security. They go home to a Baltimore in their backyards, a Ferguson in their front, and a Middle East minefield embedded in their minds.

What can I do, against darkness? What can I do, against injustice? What can I do, against fear? What can I do, against the color creeds that crescendo into senseless slaughter?

As I write this, they write too. Some exploration of written protest, words against oppression.

Will the words be enough?

What can I do?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. abrainwithfeet
    Apr 29, 2015 @ 12:51:32

    Try to draw out emotions. Talking about how one feels makes a person calmer. Be strong for them.



  2. edpeters06
    Apr 29, 2015 @ 12:58:15

    You have such a heart for your students. Loved that you shared what you wrote during writing time in class. Such a strong community you have created. xo



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