We’re (en)Jammin’ Today

text widget Today is a good day; I learned something new. Are you familiar with the term, enjambment? I wasn’t until this morning’s Day Four assignment. In verse, enjambment is “…the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.”

A friend of mine, Mark, is quite adept at this form of poetry and all this time I thought that it was just his thing—his style—of writing. We live and learn, if we are lucky, and today fortune has smiled upon me.

I have combined yesterday’s “prose poem” option with today’s topic of “enjambment” to deliver a personal story from my trip to Fort Lauderdale last June. The Lioness and I had brunch with my 11th grade English teacher and it was almost 50 years to the day that we last saw each other.

Gretchen

I was only fifteen
and you were barely 24.

Physically, I was almost a man.
Emotionally, I was an aging child.

Your spouse has passed away
and my wife is by my side.

Salutations and hugs lead to
a tête-à-tête over brunch.

Coffee and confessions.
You surprised me with your apology.

“I feel like I failed you kids, fifty years ago.”
A frank discussion between adults.

In the Summer of 1964 you became a mother
and joined our class in the Fall.

Your job was to teach us English,
but your heart was at home.

While our heads were down
working on our assignments,

your head was down,
sneaking a look at a photo of your son.

Heart and Home won out for you at the end.
You finished the school year and did not return.

A second son and a move to New York City kept you busy.
Your “retirement” lasted 25 years.

Writing poetry filled your spare time.
Getting published brought you travel and awards.

You came out of retirement 25 years ago
and have been teaching Fifth grade ever since.

“I feel like I failed you kids, fifty years ago.”
Failure takes many forms.

I failed as an Architecture student.
More Frank Lloyd Wrong than Wright.

Construction was in my blood.
A career as an electrician became my life’s work.

Failure becomes Success.
Success takes many forms.

46 years in the Trade has left me
with a battered body and an active mind.

“What would you do if you knew
that you could not fail doing it?”

I would return here, to the blank page. Memories of a distant,
happy time are awakened as I fill the space with my words.

Visions of a young, blonde English teacher return.
Someone who listened and did not judge.

Thank you for the gift of education
and for leading by example.

My wish for you is simple:
May you keep going until the wheels fall off.

—Allan

 

 

  6 comments for “We’re (en)Jammin’ Today

  1. May 12, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    This is wonderful, emjambent and all! Thank you for pointing me here. What a gifted meeting for you both.

    Like

  2. October 8, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Yep, leave it all on the field,
    my friend. That is good advice.
    This is exceptional!

    Like

    • October 8, 2015 at 9:10 PM

      Thanks for joining the (en)Jam, Stephanie. Ω

      Sent from my iPad

      >

      Like

  3. October 8, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    Very sweet tribute. I never knew that term even if I use it a lot.
    I get a poem-a-day from this site you might like Panhala@yahoogroups.com

    Like

Questions? Comments? Let's talk...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: