Lent: Teacher

amywink March 6th, 2018

Students come to
poetry, saying
“I can’t find
the hidden
meanings.”
“I can’t find
the right
answer.”
“Tell me
what this means.”

And this is where
I have to start,
to teach them
their own way
out of that
finality of can’t
by learning how instead,
to see what isn’t really
hidden, to understand
whatever answer the writer
speaks between them.

Do not let someone
else get between you
and the writer, I say.
What does this
writer want
to tell you? I ask.
What does this poet
want you to think
differently about?
What do you bring
to this conversation
between the two of you?

Of course, they think
I could just tell them
what is close, how near
they are to knowing right
but what I am teaching
is not an answer but a way
to understanding,
the how that helps them
get there by themselves
so when that understanding
dawns, it isn’t mine
but theirs to own.

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