Leaving the grocery store.
Bedraggled. Raggled. Haggard.
(All the double-g words. Me. I’m those.)
Former students in the store.
Former classmates, too.
None knew our Sad News, nor needed to.
I made it through the pleasantries.
None asked about April–or, really, me.
But, in the parking lot, there he was:
One of the Very Favorites
That teachers are not supposed to have.
The tears fell when he hugged me.
(They are everywhere, my tears.)
I explained in an apologetic blur
Then regrouped, admiring his work ID.
His job. His future. So proud of my boy.
Cheered. Happier. Distracted.
As we walked to the van, Abby looked at me:
“You have to acknowledge the sadness first.
Then, you can be the other things:
Happy. Bored. Hungry. Tired.
You just have to be sad first.”
What burdensome homage.