Teacher To Student
(Modeled after Mother to Son by Langston Hughes)

Well, son, my soul has spoken to poetry.
I've heard poetry that rent hearts asunder
and spawned hot tears,
poems with fireworks in them,
and sunshine,
and marching bands,
and nations springing newborn--
I've harmonized with poetry,
sung songs that mirrored the husky moans
of grief in my throat,
poems that hummed empty lullabies,
vibrated with anger,
zinged with passion,
poems that sang the words I wished
I had sung.
So boy, don't you close that book
because you think it's stupid or boring.
Don't close your heart and mind--
for I've found poetry, honey,
that will take you where you're going.
poets who've sung your life in song.

Love, Jody

Printed in
Iowa Poetry Association