So yeah, this is day three of the poetry-a-day project. I finished this one just moments ago, between answering phones and talking to coworkers. It dug up some memories for me, and I was surprised to feel my throat tightening up like I was going to cry. I’m okay now! Anyway, here’s the poem for today.
You were my math teacher in 6th grade, a time when I didn’t say much, I was too timid.
After a classmate joked about my silence, you sneered and said to me,
“There are homes for people like you.”
A so-called adult insulted an already self conscious, shy introvert.
You were right.
I did have a home, but not the kind you joked about.
Mine was a home that sheltered my loving, fun family
who kept encouraging me to gain confidence and speak up for myself.
I had teachers – more tactful teachers than you – in college.
Yes, I made it to college,
where I took drama class
and auditioned for some plays.
I took a class on public speaking
where I stood up and spoke in front of my classmates.
Classmates became coworkers when I found a job
that trained me to interract with students and staff
who asked me to go up on stage and speak to an audience
of two hundred parents and peers, if only for a few moments.
I have friends who encourage me to wave my freak flag, to have fun and show my sense of humor.
Friends who accept that I may never be a socialite and are still happy to hang out with me as much as I am happy and blessed to hang out with them.
I am very proud of my progress, but you don’t deserve any of that credit.
Your insult is still stored in the back of my head and stings when it resurfaces.
You showed me that some adults never grow up.
Thank you for teaching me that hurtful reality.