Written by David K. Gilchrist
Teachers, transformers of lives and the world.
29 Faces before me, all of them brown as the earth.
29 Facefuls of mischief, each with a good dose of mirth.
29 pairs of eyes shining, happy when ART books are out!
29 math-hating pupils, aching to laugh, yell and shout,
29 Indian children, mostly unwillingly here.
29 seatfuls of movement, knowing no honour or fear.
29, waiting and watching, ready for teacher's turned back.
29 pranksters preparing, poised for a chance to attack.
15 heads, stripping gears madly, each with a short-cropped black crown,
14 are feminine faces: two braids for each one hanging down.
15 are full of the devil, showing boldly and bare.
14, as full to the pigtails, hide their intentions with care.
29 nearing adulthood, growing up fearfully fast
No longer completely young children -
but I love them from the first to the last.
David K. Gilchrist, ca mid 1950's
More people are writing and thinking about work-based poetry. Does this poem make you think of anything? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send a poem you've written or one you like and we'll share it with other WorkInWords readers.
Image credit: In the North the Negro had better educational facilities. 1940–41. MoMA