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The Route

Picked from poor, the gift
is within like a statue in stone
a figure inside, unique and capable—

We wander head down until lifted.

English teachers come, English teachers go
And the best of them stay past
going, inspiring even the worst
to be their best, their passion transferred
making you dream things

you thought only others capable
of dreaming.

Sports and beer could have been
all, if not for such a teacher, the
dark of the classroom brightened,
some school room
after lunch so eager to be free,
and then the lunch bell rings, time
to roll, at least with Dr. Sheinkopf
we’d have some fun.

Charge, let’s get it going, drive the
man toward his blackboard,
“Make him draw!” Get him
excited, make him draw
Raskolnikov’s mind in the turmoil
of guilt, holy cow, point it out,
passages to stay with us
instilling belief we could read and write.

“Anything more than the truth would
have seemed too weak” to his earnest love
that kept youth in lines, don’t tell him
lies, did you do the reading?

You get what you put in, your
life is yours, in English class
it’s up to you, but count on one
thing from Stan S., the Doc:

Passion, joy, knowledge is yours
with effort go beyond the words
and feel.

Make it a habit and years later,
on the route, you may find in your
inner poem peace of mind,
mine as we celebrate Stan’s life
that a great spirit transferred, grows
and lives on.

We owe it now to look down
on the next kid looking down,
lift another statue out of rock,
animate pages with the spirit
of the Doc.

Stan S.