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Gratitude

for some reason

you saw

saw past the slumped

shoulders

and downcast eyes

and instead fixed your

gaze

upon the smile which hid

just behind my eyes


for some reason

you saw

saw beyond the ashy, bruised

skin

to the heart of the matter

and although abuse

colored my world

in your classroom

the rainbow shone

beautifully

and sun warmed the cold

parts


in your presence

i was capable of

anything

and fifth grade held that

magic

because you chose to

teach beyond assignments

and reach down to a

scared black child

with love

telling him through word

and deed

that the world was

anticipating

his smile


(dedicated to Mr. Quamma who never forgot to tell me i was special)

Jeffery Martin


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