Last week, I received a comment on one of my posts, from Maureen Ingram. She wrote, “I loved this phrase, “we learned to smile with our eyes” – and think it would be a beautiful opening line to a poem about these times, yes?” Teaching in the classroom this year proved to truly be a place for change and learning for all who entered.
I love poetry in ways I cannot describe and there are times the words of a poem take residence inside of me… but, I don’t write poetry. I find it one of the most beautiful and complex things anyone could ever dip into. Thank you for the challenge, Maureen.
We Learned to Smile
We learned to smile with our eyes,
when we thought the only path to a smile was through the place we let our words spill out.
We learned to greet each other with elbows and tippie toes,
when we thought high fives or hugs were the only way to greet another.
We learned to come together at a distance with velcro dots that held our places,
when we thought that coming together meant side by side or shoulder to shoulder.
We learned to wash our hands long and carefully,
over and over… and over again―more than we ever imagined.
We learned to make time for breathing breaks,
when we thought breathing meant just a few deep breaths.
We learned to meet parents through video or calls,
when we thought the only way to show we cared was face to face.
We learned to walk down one way hallways,
when we thought the fastest way from point A to point B was from any and every direction.
We learned to play in designated areas,
when we thought the only way to have fun was through fields and fields of space.
We learned to blow bubbles, just to watch them fly,
when some of us have never experienced the magic of bubble making.
We learned to speak our voice loud and clear,
when we thought we could get by with letting our shyness speak for us.
We learned to find joy and smile once again,
when for a short moment in time, we thought we may have lost it.