Countless memories fill my heart
from the five years inside these walls.
They swirl inside my head
and I try to tackle one down.
Some are made of bright colors,
like green spaghetti in kiddie pools,
Others are soft and quiet,
like a sunrise run to the Lincoln Memorial.
The grow bigger and smaller,
warm or cold, they shine.
I grab them like bubbles,
investigating their world inside.

Inside one I’m sitting
in the chair of Patti’s office
asking to celebrate a festival
of thousands of drums.
We talk through the details,
to make up a plan;
Weeks later my students
fill the halls with drumbeats.
They chant loudly in Spanish,
laughing with joy.
I tie up this memory
with a little piece of string
and give it a label,
the name, “Autonomy”.

The next is familiar,
as I tell the story often.
I’m reading to my class,
about Family, or “Familia”.
We turn the pages together
and practice the words out loud.
La madre is the mother,
El padre is the father.
A small voice reaches out
to stand up for diversity
Some families have dos madres
Some families have dos padres!
I wrap a bow around this one,
place it dearly back in my heart,
with its label printed neatly,
“Values of acceptance”.

In yet another I find myself
in that same chair next to Patti,
this time in tears,
overwhelmed, and almost drowning.
My class was running the show,
not the other way around,
I lost control, couldn’t regain it,
But Patti was there to guide.
She showed me how to pick back up,
dust myself off and take the reigns
I send this one off gently,
and see its name, “Support”.

One is filled with music,
singing and laughter.
My students and I are dancing,
“Bailando” as the chorus rings.
Nikki’s class is watching,
enjoying the entertainment,
We teach them some moves,
and sing some words from the song.
Bringing our classes together
was not an unusual event,
which gave this memory
a simple name: “Community”.

In another the halls are dark,
kids are giggling loudly
they’re crawling on their knees
racing the team beside them.
We are having a sleepover,
the kind that feels forbidden,
We’ve taken over the school
for a whole night of mischief.
They’ve completed their race,
and begun dressing up in clothes
pulled from the lost and found bins
and turned into glamorous garb.
This one barely needs a label,
but I scribe one out in crayon,
it can never be underestimated,
the importance of “Fun”.

The bubbles dance around me,
then settle back from where they came,
a special place inside me,
where Logan will always remain.

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