In Answer to Your Question: "Can I Still Turn In My Two Late Essays and Try to Pass?"

I just want to start from the beginning with you
oatmeal and books on winter mornings bananas
and books in the summer shade
quilts and silence art and spice running all out
and crying all out and laughing music
dirt and small triumphs

Maybe I could keep that hurt look out of your eyes

I could be wrong
maybe you had all that
could reach your toes down
and touch the sand
treading water
all the time
the bottom just under your feet

Maybe nothing could have prevented your presence
here in front of my desk
a baby in saggy pants
shocking soft
brown eyes lashes
girl long
mouth in the shape of every other talk
with every other teacher

But I can see you ten years from now, five
I can see you rise
I saw you wake up in this class
learn to speak
up hook up
one idea with another
look on your face
changed to self certainty
its clear to me

I'd take you now
what are you not twenty
I'd make you know to grow is a possible
miracle in the right habitat
even injured thrive

I give you till Wednesday
all I can say is
I'd really like
to see you succeed.