Handbook of Suffering – Lesson 7

Every body must get wet
                                                      for S

Rain all day
the leaf tender branches, water
heavy, curve, kiss ground.
My daughter, counsellor-in-tears, phones,
from summer camp.  Water’s falling
everywhere!

I describe for her my own despair,
visiting writer watching hurting six-year-olds
harm one another, scatter
half-written poems across the floor,
run wild through their class.
I stood on a desk to yell my grief.
That bought fifteen minutes
peace.

Love who you teach, I advise her.
Love what you’re teaching them.
You’re the crying kind, so it might help
if you let them—all those
quitters whiners arguers
homesick complainers—see
your tears. Love’s a salt-water word
when you stand in summer rain
admiring the green.  Every body
must get wet.  Remember that
you teachers and students
of suffering.

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