keep it real
sister teacher arrived on the scene with instructions from the master,
sowing love among the exotic herbs and wild flowers of her gardens.
up came a harvest of children who caught her challenge to learn
in spite of color, status, or address.
sister teacher would not, could not be ignored.
she fished up the motivation key for reluctant learners,
grabbing, cajoling, coaxing, and changing negatives to positives.
reaching into her heart,
moving mountains, people, and bureaucracies
and depositing gold nuggets of knowledge into memory banks.
sprinkling generosity amid sweet hard words,
sister friend invited us into her kitchen of fragrant aromas and melodious music,
feeding us boisterous laughter along with the freshly-baked rolls and delectable delights.
sister friend danced and pirouetted through our journey
sharing joy and pain
creating unbreakable bonds and deep roots.
her story, her love,
her journey, her testimony,
is our treasure,
Ms. Ross, or Enter the poet
Enter the smiling poet
who favors the meticulous metaphor,
melting mellifluously in a voice, tender and soothing.
She disperses the gifts and applies accentuated alliteration
to the neediest who receive generous doses of
and kinetic kindness.
Yes, her love is subject and verb.
Lights center stage
Enter the gifted teacher
like romare bearden fashioned disparate objects into artful masterpieces
like zora spoke folktales into grand literature
like elizabeth catlett hewed human dignity from inanimate clay.
She awakens drowsing learners from self-induced reverie
to open poe’s doors
to travel langston’s rivers
to test the bard’s sonnets
to fly with nikki
to reveal themselves to themselves,
to contemplate a future most favorable.
Enter the benevolent friend
Need a hug?
a few bucks?
a place to stay?
a stuffed animal?
Applause, bouquets of red roses, and bows,
Enter Ms. Ross.
Jacqueline Henry Hill lives in Southern California where she is a member of Writer’s Anonymous, a workshop of the UCLA Writing Project. She has published her poetry and creative nonfiction in phati’tude, Reverie, Chaparral, Oasis Journal 2010, 2011, ad 2012.
Jacqueline published the memoir, Jennie Wren, Memories of Mommy in 2014. She is also co-editor and contributor to Out of Anonymity, The Journal of The UCLA Writing Project 2014.