Weekdays at 9:45
My role of a student pauses
My role of a Life Program Aid begins
Five sets of eyes examin my entrance
As if I am a caged lion at the zoo
The only difference is that whispers replace yelling children
Have I done something wrong?
Am I getting kicked out?
“I’ll tell her”
Now I hear the screaming
Now I feel the pounding
“One of the students passed away in her sleep last night”
This isn’t fair.
Just Thirteen years old
This isn’t fair
In a wheelchair her whole life.
This is not fair.
I feel more trapped than ever
like I’m drowning on all the tears I’m holding back
I scanned the room, looking at the other students
All of whom were unaware of the tragedy
All of whom have their own disability
All of whom I adore deeply
We are all given different hardships
The students I work with daily have severe disabilities
Yet they still find reasons to smile
This was the second I realized my purpose
Every day at 9:45 I am ecstatic to walk into class
I put joy into their lives
In turn, they put joy into mine.
I carry a Lion’s heart.
We all do
Utilizing it in the right way is the hard part.