Yes, Sar

The Guidance Teacher was at the door
I could see him smiling at me
Through the little window
Not a good sign.

The class a small pleasant group of
Very active learning-impaired kids
Identified as “Basic-modified”
Watched as I moved from Jimmy’s desk and
Walked over to the door

Who was being called to Guidance
They all wondered
Somebody calling from home
Sick beat up drunk
Do you want me to
Drop off your lunch
That you left on the kitchen counter.

I opened the door
Behind the Guidance Counsellor
Stood two very tentative oriental children
They could almost have passed
For local Mohawks except
With large wide faces
And very different eyes
Smiling that smile of
If I were an orphan
You would adopt me
Very neatly dressed
A boy and a girl.

These are Kim and Janet Park
They don’t speak English
So we thought you
Would be the best place
To put them
I would be the best place
Several intriguing problems with that sentence
Defining me as a place for one
But the largest task facing me now
Was how to help these two
Embarrassed smiling children
Whose information slips I held in my hand.

Come in I said.

Jump three months
To Christmas eve
It is already dark out
We are almost ready to sit
For dinner the doorbell rings
It is Kim with a brightly wrapped
Box of a certain size
I see the car on the street behind him
Merry Christmas Sar
I wave to the car
He is gone before I
A gold box containing
A bottle of aged gensing wine.

It used to be a custom to
Give the teacher a present
At Christmas some soap a pen
Some stationery something formulaic
That was the first present
I had seen in almost twenty years
I thought of the things those kids had
Taught me and the kids in the class
Who pitched in to teach them English
About the poetry of being Korean
And I felt hopelessly outclassed but loved

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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