The teacher faces her class, each student a stone in various stages of polish. She is a tumbler of ideas and she hopes they will take the sand and water she holds out to them like the sacred offerings they are. Today, let’s talk about warrants and backing she says and they write those words down. The words themselves are just metaphors and have no meaning other than that which they apply to them. She puts more words on the board that have no meaning until a student raises his hand and stones fall out of his mouth. Rough stones, unpolished, dusty. Some of them roll on the desk, the floor, crush the other students’ hands and feet. The teacher gathers these stones, dusts them off. She tries to apply meaning to them. They are meaningless, but she says How beautiful and puts them in her pocket anyway.
September / October, 2022
Judy Kaber is the Poet Laureate of Belfast, Maine, as well as author of three chapbooks: Renaming the Seasons, In Sleep We Are All the Same, and A Pandemic Alphabet. Her poems appeared in such publications as Poet Lore, Atlanta Review, december, Hunger Mountain, and Spillway.
Art: Madge Evers.