Mrs. Swann never struck the back of my head. No!
She held my hand and put a pencil in it. She asked
me to write diligently. No comma splices, run-on
sentences, split-infinitives, informal language, and
In time, she taught me to see the
nuances of holy words that illuminate the orange slice
on the horizon, the caramel apple tree, the pieces of gravel
that occupy my shoe, the rain that hits my windowpane
whenever I read.
In time, whenever I read “Persimmons,” “Song for a Dark Girl,”
“She Walks in Beauty,” “Design,” or “What Teachers Make,”
I will weep.