Friday, March 19, 2010

Memories of what will matter most

Brendan’s short sleeve school shirts
come in three colors,
pastels yellow and green,
rich and simple blue.

On the front the shirts say
Be Kind | Work Hard | Get Smart,
on the back messages kids read
passing through the halls.

The yellow quotes Brother Malcolm:
The future belongs to those
who prepare for it today.
The green quotes Maria Mitchell:

We have a hunger of the mind…
the more we gain, the more is our desire.
The blue quotes Gandhi, fierce pacifist:
We must be the change

we wish to see in the world.
Today the sun shines brilliant
against a pale blue sky,
down on a yellow one

and a green hanging
from the lattice roof
I built back deck.
We have no washer, no dryer,

so I hand wash these,
hang them out to dry.
Today, I hope as I age
that I never forget Brendan at 11,

or the vision of
shirts drying in the sun,
or the need for us to be
the change we wish to see,

even as I acknowledge
how much else
I have quite forgotten.

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