Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Unexpected

Summer Wave Action
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

I got my last pay check
for teaching
last May Day
at our annual Bean picnic
when the students
called me in the yearbook
the beautiful beatnik
who opens our poetry door
and best guy
on the rowing team
the super art director
for our theater company
behind the scenes,
having the best for our future,
for bz the teacher we adore
signed class of 2013-14,
it seemed a happy hour
for all of us
until the clock stopped
then all my enormous dreams
for the summer suddenly
dashed against a big rock
on the Cape Cod sea
with my orange kayak
torn up
by a series of winter's blasts
breathing down on us
as windy Northeaster storms hit
and I was out of luck,
then faced a catastrophe
of a health worry and surgery
in so much trauma
with two of my close family
thousands of miles away
lecturing in the Holy Land,
yet I learnt a handy lesson
out of school
in a few doctors' hours,
how many friends rushed
to my bedside,
with cards, a singing bird,
red flowers, kind words
from all over the country
even money orders for a cab
being barely to get around
or pay the tab
and a restored boat
resting quietly
on the home harbor,
I knew the kind expressions
of love for me from friends
toward this teacher
on my timeless journey
now on hold,
realizing love will reach
and occur to us unexpectedly,
as we struggle with trials
as they suck us down or enfold
that giving from the heart
as the prophets or King Jesus
preached so many years ago,
is more precious,
if it be told,
than a loss of ego
or part-time income
silver dollars or gold.