Today's poem is by Marilyn Nelson

After the Open House

I saw again, at last night's open house,
that families are like jigsaw puzzles
of the self-portraits children draw at school.
The more pieces you see, the more you understand.

They're exactly like the classes I taught
in Cleveland's and Paducah's Negro schools:
the same eager, the same distractible,
the slow, the silent, the strong who are kind,
the strong who bully, the forever teased.

Eddie's father, his arms folded tightly,
stood in the doorway, while Eddie's mother
turned pages in Eddie's portfolio.
Cheryl glowed, curled under her daddy's arm.

They all made sense, somehow, like spelling clouds.
Ty-Rex and his mother: so similar.
Michael inherited his dad's big laugh.
Terry has the pain-gift of difference.

And Davy's parents are full-blood rednecks!
Down to their nasty, cockeyed attitudes!
Please make it possible for me to fit
some azure pieces into Davy's sky!

Copyright © 2017 Marilyn Nelson All rights reserved
from Mrs. Nelson's Class
World Enough Writers
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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