Image: by struvictory, licensed under CC 2.0.
Over a decade ago, as I started to work for Writers in the Schools programs as both a teaching artist and an administrator and visited nearly a hundred different public schools, I became committed to the idea that poetry can heal. I have immense respect for our classroom teachers, many of whom pay for supplies out of their own pockets and devote countless unpaid hours toward fostering the growth of their students. This piece emerged from a day of teaching poetry when I understood, despite all of our good work, many of our students will continue to have a hard time due to food insecurity, lack of sleep, and other challenges to their well-being. In visiting students who are struggling, I always hope a word or line of poetry will stay with them and emerge later when they need it the most.