They’ve been here since I first began teaching,
the dancing teenage couple twirling handsomely
in the yellow hallway, waiting for me to come this way, adjusting my tie.
They tell me, we’re not what you once thought we were.
We’re more and less than that, we are what you needed years to grasp.
Humanity is a wavering equation.
You had to observe us from the other side of the room, your heart finally at rest,
your hands at your sides, your eyes like two big rocks cast downward.
We love you for trying. Can’t you see that? We’ve always loved you,
but we wanted you to understand.
No one can truly belong unless they understand.
When you first began you thought yourself caged, and us
cats ripping at your flesh. Do you remember how much you bled?
How you shouted through the iron bars?
What are we to you now? Who do you think we are?
Gnomes? Gnomes holding hands as we laugh, kiss, and scream.
You don’t have to answer that; you have somewhere else you need to be.
It isn’t finished, yet. Though we’ve talked it over and have agreed
you have come a very long way.