Set 17, 2007

Resignation Letter

(Prof Anjo Lavinia, 42, Math teacher)

I know it:
If I had been more precise
then I would not call myself teacher.

And already, an incompetent statement!
I said, I would not call myself teacher,
but see, see, that certainly I should not
for I cannot. I can never split myself
to become my own teacher
to my selfsame pupil.

Rather this:
If had been more precise
then I would not permit people
to call me teacher.

Then, if anybody addressed me thus,
I would not answer.
If that somebody insisted,
touched my shoulder, I would say,
Hey, why didn’t you tell me
you were in the area?

If that somebody called me teacher
once more, I would say,
You’re confusing me with someone else
less accurate

Yet I am the one less
so I accept that calling of teacher,
likewise Mencken’s postulate:
He who can, does.
He who cannot, teaches.

Let this personal imperfection be known.
Let this imperfection stand
but not preclude my possession
of some lessons,
though most certainly
not all.
These said, I posit questions:

Should I say: I lost
a boy to the twenty-first
of August, the 2007th Lordyear?

Should I say – Yes,
it was the day that cost me
a boy –
or the boy?

Or rather: No,
it was they –
or is it ‘them’?

Or another: No,
what cost (one) boy’s life
was the way they chose to stretch their sun
upon the composure of hours that they
eventually lifted to the night sky –
was there a moon – saying This is the life!
with bloodied sleeves?

Or should I say: Yes,
it was the boy
who made a purpose of strength
that day, and wanted it so much –
for civic ends I’m certain
so that we later-day elders,
we of the twenty-second,
twenty-third, -fourth, and -fifth, and -ninth,
we of further Septembers and Lordyears,
we have been obliged to be strong for him?

Rather this, exactly:
This September the sixteenth oh seven,
a Sunday, nonworking,
nonholiday, this nonday
is the choice, the life
formula, the day I spend –
like all my coins
clattering on the glass counter
of a liquor store
– for the boy

whether he likes it or not.
Whether this is me
or the day itself
speaking – split – precisely.

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