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My child and I hold hands on the way to school

My child and I hold hands on the way to school
And when I leave him at the first grade door
He cries a little but is brave he does
Let go. My selfish tears remind me how
I cried before that door a life ago.
I may have had a hard time letting go.

Each fall the children must endure together
What every child also endures alone
Learning the alphabet the integers
Three dozen bits and pieces of a stuff
So arbitrary so peremptory
That worlds invisible and visible

Bow down before it as in Joseph's dream
The sheaves bowed down and then the stars bowed down
Before the dreaming of a little boy.
That dream got him such hatred of his brothers
As cost the greater part of life to mend
And yet great kindness came of it in the end.

A school is where they grind the grain of thought
And grind the children who must mind the thought.
It may be those two grindings are but one
As from the alphabet come Shakespeare's Plays
As from the integers comes Euler's Law
As from the whole inseperably the lives

The shrunken lives that have not been set free
By law or by poetic phantasy.
But may they be. My child has disappeared
Behind the schoolroom door. And should I live
To see his coming forth a life away
I know my hope but do not know its form

Nor hope to know it. May the fathers he finds
Among his teachers have a care of him
More than his father could. How that will look
I do not know I do not need to know.
Even our tears belong to ritual.
But may great kindness come of it in the end.

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by:- admin posted in:- howard nemerov

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