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 Aug 2015 Luke
Thinking Out Loud
There were times
she felt
like his bad habit

longed for,

quickly savored,

and then
carelessly crushed

the weight
of his world
Written June 26, 2015
 Jun 2015 Luke
Don Bouchard
Planting excitement upon us,
My daughter asks how to thin the beets.

"When the plants are three inches tall,
Pick the weaker ones and pull them up,"
I say. "You'll take out two thirds of the young  plants
So the rest can grow."

I see a troubled look upon her face,
And realize what I find in myself....

The teacher's quandary:
Picking whom to keep,
Whom to cull...
We put our love into them all.

Watching for first and tender shoots,
Celebrating as the fledgling leaves appear,
Not thinking of a time ahead,
Dreaded time to thin....

Teachers are reluctant to cull,
Building emotional connection,
Providing loving direction,
Promising success to all....

Then come the standardized tests,
The  team selections,
The popularity contests,
The invitations to slumber parties,
The division of elites,
The rising of divas,
The rostering of first teams...

The separation of pariahs begins,
The promise we made to early learners ends,
Superiors, exultant, drown out the tears
Of those left standing by the fence,
Excluded from the chances to advance.

Standing in the seedling beds,
Spring breezes rustling tender leaves,
I turn to Kate....
"It's never easy....
But if we don't  thin the beets,
The beets will not develop
Beneath the leaves."

These damnable analogies arise
Infrequently these days,
And I am standing in the dirt,
Black soil upon on my hands,
Wondering about survival of the weak,
The treatment of humans and young plants,
Pondering humane ways to honor every student
In which I am investing...
Wishing I could see the end of high stakes testing....
Conversation with Katelyn, the newest teacher in the Bouchard line.

 Jun 2015 Luke
 Jun 2015 Luke
I woke up at a bar scene
fifteen years forward, you,
you stood the same way you stand
today and I recognized the back of your
figure the way I recognize the back
of my hand and
I wasn’t sure if the room around me froze
or I just simply froze myself, spilling
drinks like love and love like drinks
you wore the same shade of hypocrisy you
wore that day, that last day
I thought you were dead
I told myself you were dead
it went as imagined, you stumbled
over slurred words and wooden
stools and I remembered exactly why
our lines crossed quickly,
why fate didn’t keep us close for long
why I labeled you as ‘toxic’ and shelved
you in the back of my mind, for years
upon years upon years it’s been
almost 15
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