Remembering Why I Teach

by nicolecallihan

Today I drove in the rain to the Bronx where I taught poetry to children at the School for the Visually Impaired and Blind, and a boy named Infinite wrote of his love for music, of how the beat keeps him alive; and another boy wrote of the sound of thunder, how it reminds him of the warmth of his grandmother’s house in Guyana; and then there was a girl named Armani who wrote an ode to her closet; and another kid who wrote of how his mean, toothy dog was as silent as a ghost and as prideful as his father.

Towards the end of the morning, when  the rain seemed to be slowing, there was another boy who wanted, he wrote, nothing more than to sleep on a poem, to bury his head inside of it and enter the endless dreamworld. Now back in Brooklyn, I still hold José in my mind, see his fingers running across his braille page, hear the lilt of his voice while he reads about words: so soft, he says, and safe.