Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Savanna and Hope Become Semi-Famous

I made a lot of new friends after January 8th, but few of them have touched my heart as much as the 5th and 6th graders at Stockton Elementary School.  They wrote to me in pencil on lined paper with perfectly readable penmanship.  Their addresses were in the upper right hand corner and the date was above Dear Mrs. Hileman and I loved them even before they shared their hearts. 


They read the newspaper every morning and Christina's story touched them.  They knew that she would want me to be happy and that she was glad to have me as her friend and that I shouldn't worry too much while I was healing as quickly as they wished I would.  They were sorry I got shot.


Is it any wonder that I fell in love?


Turns out that their teacher graduated from my high school a few years after the Class of 1969 and I went out into the world.  He sold real estate until he found the good life teaching small humans.  His emails are filled with warmth and admiration for his charges.  He's delivering an old-fashioned education and I know what that is because we both came up through the same school system.  Say what you will about our generation, we knew how to spell and how to format a personal letter and we read the newspaper and these students can say the same thing.  


As I said, an old-fashioned education.  Some things about the 20th century might be worth saving.


But I digress. 


The 6th graders in the class graduated this week. Two of them wrote  and read a beautiful poem  in memory of Christina Taylor Green, as their teacher told me in an email today.   My 5th grade pen-pal helped make the poster.  I'd show you the poet's entirely fabulous face except that I haven't asked for permission.  If it comes, I'll post it.  


For now, she will simply be mysterious.  In the 6th grade so much is mysterious that this might just feel ordinary.  I don't know.  It's hard to be true to yourself when you are in the 6th grade.  It's often dangerous to reveal deep emotion.  Sometimes you feel anonymous and wonder about your place in the world.  


Sometimes your place in the world is shaken.  Sometimes something really really awful happens to someone almost your age.  Someone so close to your age that you can remember when you were that age. And you're not that old to begin with.  


When something like that happens, some of us turn to words.  


For all these reasons and the hundred more you are thinking of right now I'm publishing Savanna and Hope's poem. 

Enjoy your summer and have fun in 7th grade, girls.  The best is yet to come.

Christina Taylor Green

A young girl…
A young soul…

Wanting happiness…
Nothing but happiness…

Should still be here…
Too precious…

Her life was taken…
But her soul remains…

` Her love of this world…
Was more than words could say.

We shall not forget…
A perfect life…
A perfect soul…

By Savannah and Hope

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful poem. Such depth for ones so young. Thank you for sharing this.

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