What My Students Told Me in Their Journals


          she likes this boy so much

          she quivers every time

          she sees him in the hall


                                                                      the word quiver

                                                                      the rawness of it

                                                                      the great now of it

                                                                      I want to hug her

                                                                      for writing quiver


          he saw these two old people

          KISSING and HUGGING

          he puts the two words

          in big capitals across the page

          he can’t imagine he would

          do that with his wife

          when he’s old


                                                                      his straight brow – clear eyes

                                                                      the quizzical upturn of his eyebrow

                                                                      when he answers a question

                                                                      I want to snap a picture of him

                                                                      as he writes 


          KISSING and HUGGING

          she cried and carried on

          in front of her ex-boyfriend

          wanting to know why

          he broke up with her

          she apologizes for being

          so immature, breaking down, crying


                                                                      her tears, her words

                                                                      I want to tell her

                                                                      don’t apologize

                                                                      yell and cry


                                  and if I hugged,


                                  let the words escape


                                  would they whisper

                                  as they walked down the hall

                                  Boy, that Ms. Hoffman, she’s weird

                                  or clutch my words and hugs

                                  to themselves as they walked away





                                                                                                   Barbara Hoffman