Saturday, February 2, 2013

BJ’s on a Friday Night

I hadn’t been to BJ’s since 2008
was too busy with other things to squeeze
into a packed space. Got there early
to avoid the crowd, barely found enough
empty chairs and tables at the back of the room.

Saw women I met as young optimistic teachers
now weary from a dozen years of teaching
beginning with the fall of the twin towers
when they started in 2001. There were the glory
years when we worked together, received awards
and recognition for all our accomplishments.

Then I moved on to another school,
was replaced by a person
who thought coercion and insult
was the recipe for continued success
she lasted a year and was gone.

Soon came the death of two staff members
in the same year. What joy was left in teaching
began to wane, felt oppressed and distressed
by more young, upwardly mobile leaders
concerned with their suits and coiffed hair
then the affect they were having on children
and future generations.

Last staff development they were shown
how to withstand an armed intruder.
They took it with a grain of salt, praying that scenario
was one that would never be played out at
their school in their lifetime.

We talked about families, and hopes for the future
Impressed by how tired they all seemed,
too weary to continue working but needed
to work and couldn’t stop. One was divorced
another her young husband had a heart attack

others had changed schools, changed  positions
wishing for the days when we were together
and the world was an optimistic place at BJ’s.

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