So today is the last Friday of the school year. We are out on Tuesday. I opened Fuel by Naomi Shihab Nye for inspiration and found “Morning Glory” which seemed fitting for the end of the year.
Here’s a snippet.
The faces of the teachers
know we have failed and failed
yet they focus beyond, on the windowsill
the names of distant galaxies
We have come in dragging.
If someone would give us
a needle and thread, or send us
on a mission to collect something
at a store, we could walk for twenty years
sorting it out. How do we open,
when we are so full?…
But the teachers don’t give up.
They rise, dress, appear before us
crisp and hopeful. They have a plan.
If cranes can fly 1,000 miles
or that hummingbird return from Mexico
to find, curled on its crooked fence, a new vine,
surely. We may dip into the sweet
Together, if we hover long enough.
—Naomi Shihab Nye (from Fuel, 1998 Boa Editions, Ltd.)
These images seem perfect for the last days of school but I was dismayed to find the following.
When searching for an online version of the whole poem I found an article how it had been used for a standardized state test. You can read it here. Are you kidding me that favorite poets’ work ends up in statewide tests? Do the poets get paid to release materials for tests? Do they give permission? What do they think of have their work reduced to multiple choice?