Poetry at School, or,

Teaching can be a Hazardous Profession

On Friday, we got to practice what to do if an active shooter came into our building. Always a fun thing to think about. We drilled lockdowns and wore helmets and had a “shooter” come after us with an air-soft gun. What I learned is that I can think about how to barricade my classroom door without having a panic attack or getting tears in my eyes. 

But of course, as the sheriff conducting the drills said, a more likely scenario is that we will have an earthquake. The Seattle area, experts say, is overdue.

What he didn’t say, but I know from experience, is that it is far more likely students will have “gerrrms,” (as Jamie in Outlander would say) than guns. So, to celebrate my first cold of the year, I have composed a poem.

I give you:

The Running of the Snot

Mom says that I have caught a cold.
I don’t remember chasing it.
Dad says, “You’ll cough your whole head off!”
–May I please kick the snot OUT of it?

Gram says I need to steam it out.
Well, if I could be a dragon,
I’d fly right out to an island somewhere
and steam me up some ocean.

I’m looking like a circus clown–
my nose is red from blowing.
I cough and snort and gag and blart,
and spit out globs of grossness.

My head is aching, my throat is sore,
I don’t know if I can take much more.

Big brother made me tea and toast.
I stayed home from school.
I played a game, I read a book —
Hey, this is kind of cool!

Dad brought me sherbet.
Gram taught me cribbage.
Sister told me jokes…

…Mom asks am I better now?

And I don’t even think–
I wipe my nose, I hawk a loogie,
I say, “Naw, naw, I’m not!
What a lot, a lot, what a LOT of snot I’ve got!”