Poem: The Teacher and The Little School

The Teacher and The Little School

The day began as many others.
The alarm clock sounded disturbing the night’s rest.

She lay there for a few moments
wiggling her toes
feeling the cool of the morning.

She always slept with her feet outside the covers.
She missed the days
when she had a husband
to help keep her warm.

Quickly the morning routine of
personal hygiene,
getting dressed,
eating breakfast and
Bible reading and prayer were completed.

Exiting the modest apartment
she scrapped the ice off the windshield
of her ten-year old Honda Accord.
Placing the key in the car’s ignition switch and
turning the key in a clockwise direction,
the engine started.

The minutes she sat
letting the engine warm up
seemed like a half-hour.
Scanning the car’s radio she found her favorite station.
She listened to a morning Christian devotional.
“How long a minute can seem
when you’re in a rush,” she thought.

Placing the right hand
on the gear shift lever,
she shifted the car’s transmission
from park to reverse.
Looking in the rear view mirror
Ensuring all was clear behind her,
she slowly removed her right foot
from the brake pedal.

The car started rolling.
With this movement
the car seemed
to come to life.
Her daily trek
to the little school
where she worked
as a kindergarten teacher
had begun.

A smile came to her lips
as she reflected on the little school.
Eight months earlier, she was a total stranger.
The prospects of a mysterious work environment
full of unknown co-workers and dozens of unknown
kindergarten aged children had frightened her.
Yet, today the realization of the loving environment
of the little school made a smile come to her lips.

She couldn’t help it.
Enjoyment was received
from her labors with her class.
All was not perfect at the little school.
But, she had already learned
in her fifty plus years,
all is not perfect anywhere.

The anticipation of being
with the teachers, teacher’s aides
and the kind late middle-aged man principal was strong.
Stronger still was her eagerness to see
the five and six-year-old children in her kindergarten class
where she attentively served as their teacher.

The dear young children
in this class loved her.
She knew they cared.
They hugged her legs
and knees daily telling her so.

At last, the twenty-minute drive from home was completed.
She arrived at the little school.
She wished the travel was shorter,
though she loved listening to the morning devotionals on the radio.

Placing her right foot on the brake brought the car to a stop.
After returning the gear shift lever to park and turning off
the ignition all signs of life left the vehicle.

“I’m here.” The smile broadened on her face as she exited the car.
She realized she was about to receive more joy and love than she would give.

©1990
Jimmie A. Kepler

2 thoughts on “Poem: The Teacher and The Little School

  1. This reminds me so strongly of my 1st grade teacher. Never married, lived with her sister, belonged to the American Begonia Society, a very devout Christian lady. She taught me to read–that’s big!–and I think vividly of her often. She was born in 1901, began teaching in the 1920’s, has long since gone to her rest. I can picture her doing just what you describe in the poem. She lies buried with her parents and many siblings in the peaceful small town in which she lived nearly her entire long life. Thanks for bringing her to mind again today.

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