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Deeper

March 15, 2005

Mood: Healing
Song: Law and Order Theme (it also just happens to be my ringtone)

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering of the stomach, the same restlesness, the yawning.”
-C.S. Lewis

Five o’clock.
Lenny Briscoe is “good cop” again as the Law and Order sirens blare
My student Dustin channeled Jack McCoy as he pounded away at Raskolnikov
His recollected voice rings through my stupor
“Objection your Honor-facts not in evidence”
The jury has no way of overturning this verdict:
Guilt.

Cello’s father passed away this semester-Cello was in class that very week.
“I know how it feels”, he reminds me; he alone has an inkling
In my mind’s eye he fills the room as his “deadly” pit bull, Annika, licks his face.
He is educating the class about “bully breeds”
Law and Order covered the topic of dog attacks too.
Ripped from the headlines. Ripped from my life.

The old masters understood.
“Cast your nighted color off”, Hamlet’s mother pleads with me.
Frozen words slicing through a heart made ice.
All the rest is silence.
“’Tis sweet and commendable in your nature…
To give these mourning duties to your father.”
He should have died hereafter-that’s Macbeth’s lesson for today.
There would have been time.
My students hate time.
Stealing their youth with measured tread he invades our classroom.
Chained to a plastic second hand they sit
Always active
Chewing, scratching, blinking, listening (?)

What use are Chaucer, Bronte, Dostoyevsky
When death can gather with dread swoop?
Do not ask for whom the bell tolls-
At that sound thirty-two of them leap
From the comfort of wooden chair and
Flood the hallways with their cries.
Do they remember?
I cannot efface their images.

Every Friday Holland wears a shirt as golden as the posters she paints
Advertising Sadie Hawkins.
The canary hue was chocolate-coated the day we celebrated research papers completed
With M & M’s and granola bars.
The sample paper I provided dealt with grief’s stages
It didn’t mention how the legs become lead weights
And the tongue sticks
As if I’ve indulged in too much “Our Strawberry Blonde” ice cream from Cold Stone
Do I dare return after this week’s hiatus expires?
Dare disturb the fabric of their universe with my salt-laden tears?

I imagine my hand pushing open the door to Room 171
Because Tyler-
He who gave me my “quote of the day” last Friday
Though he wanted no one else to know-
Wrote to say“We’re still thinking of you.”

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