Friday, August 26, 2011

Poetry Friday: Girls' Middle School Orchestra

Although Irene left us alone, it looks as if she's not going to be equally kind to the east coast of the United States. I feel almost guilty being spared, and yet after a day off on Tuesday, we end our second week of school with just ordinary problems to deal with. I overdid it in seventh grade today and left too little time at the end for kids to get their work in, and they were confused and frustrated. My son had a stomach ache and stayed home from school (though he seems fine now). The power was off for an hour this afternoon and we sweltered together in the dark classroom.

Mostly, this day was good. I graded student work and felt again how blessed I am to get to see these kids' thoughts. (A mom at our open house last night told me that her kids didn't want to show her their writing "because it gets too personal." And yet I get to read it.) I came home early to be with my son and fell asleep reading Harry Potter to him; he tiptoed away and left me to my nap. And I found this poem, which seems to me to sum up perfectly the muddling through of some days, the way something beautiful, or in this case, "almost beautiful," sometimes comes out of our efforts.

Girls’ Middle School Orchestra

By Michael Ryan

They’re all dressed up in carmine
floor-length velvet gowns, their upswirled hair
festooned with matching ribbons:
their fresh hopes and our fond hopes for them
infuse this sort-of-music as if happiness could actually be
Their hearts unscarred under quartz lights
beam through the darkness in which we sit
to show us why we endured at home
the squeaking and squawking and botched notes
that now in concert are almost beautiful...

Here's the rest.

And here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Irene Latham said...

Oh the squeaking and squawking and botched notes... been there with my own musician-sons! Thanks for sharing this poem, and I'm glad Hurricane Irene spared you.

Mary Lee said...

Yes, yes, yes. Hopefully all the prep work and practice and teaching and mentoring will result in something that is beautiful!!! We must hope. We must always hope.