The Classroom

I talk about peace, love, and understanding with the college students
taking classes between work shifts and day care
and paying the rent.

They teach me what resting bitch face means
and what it looks like
and how to accurately use phrases from current songs.

I talk about Civil Rights,
respecting our neighbors, and how
we all deserve kindness and a chance to participate.

They teach me how to dare to dream for a better future
even though nothing so far in their lives has made such an outcome
ever seem possible.

I talk with them about landlines, the satisfaction
of seeing newsprint on your fingertips, and how time seems to fly
so say it now, whatever words are in your heart.

They teach me about persistence and character and how to put one foot
in front of the other despite dead babies or abusive parents, or
traumatic times in war zones or ERs.

I am middle-aged
and we are all
getting schooled.

 

Gettysburg

An enormous sculpture
garden in today’s
travel news, a new
way of packaging
monuments
of stone.

One death,
two sides—
all in granite,
nestled in grass.

Beauty,
or not?

 

The Emptiness of Evening

For in the South
the brown moth makes desperate attempts
to reach the kitchen light
when the cat’s eye moon is low
and the alligators are in the koi pond
and the beetles click with glee
beneath the fallen magnolia blossoms
with just a hint of citrus

 

Sarah Bigham grew up in Pennsylvania, crossed the Mason Dixon line to attend college in Virginia, crossed the line again for grad school in New York, and finally headed South once more, landing in Maryland. Her cooking style, inherited from her Virginian mother, is Southern. Her accent is not. Sarah is a Pushcart nominee and a product of Gettysburg, where the legacy of war is impossible to ignore. Find her at www.sgbigham.com.

 

(Photo credit: Flickr.)