The Teacher Who Fell To Earth


Heartsore, I type: heartchords tautening from me towards some frozen western plateau, feeling your every inching away – phantom limbs pressing into silk.

Like most teachers, I teach on Earth. I deftly employ the orb’s gravity to move from side to side; exhausted, I topple from the stage, my bowler hat tumbling into the pit and disturbing the trombonist. What you remember is what concerns me most: what you remember and what it does to your heart.

Our INSET leader was so bubbly and frail, it damn near broke this heart. She leaped from Ecco’d toe to toe and told us we were amazing; she thanked us for our Saturday and showed us powerpoint slides of her children. She reminded me how to get my students artfully interacting and we made good use of paper and post-it.

I saw the girl in her eyes and imagined her sipping lime milk green from a glass smudged by her sweaty palms fresh from play. Her Blanch Dubois twang has me watching her on some dusty verandah as she marvels at the perpendicularity of a dragonfly.

She has forgotten this thing that I would have her remember. But it rolled, this thing, and it rolled, this memory of a dragonfly and lime milk, and it accreted with her slow-built wisdom until it met me full with a passion that I first resisted and then, palms-up, fell back into like a baby falling into silk.

I tried some of the things she had me do and, damn her girl’s eyes, they worked.

Heartsore, I type: your moving away from me felt like nothing more real than an object. Tomorrow, I move too. You, strung out on a western plateau. Me, awestruck in a valley. We – our children, too – we separate, moving across the Earth and doing what teachers and students do upon the Earth.


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