“The Words We Found to S(t)ay” – A Poem for Educators and The Importance of Building Their Own Emotionally Charged Libraries

We all have a story that we carry. 

Some stories may be structured as scary. 

But no story is entirely merry.


Sometimes we don’t feel like the pages of our stories fit neatly within the realm of the world.

That there is no room for the edges of our pages to be curled. 

That every story must be flat and rectangular and ridiculed if it’s content has already been whirled.  


Sometimes we feel like our stories are too abstract.

That nothing is clear cut, absent of concrete facts.

That for this reason alone they must be put away and packed. 


Sometimes we feel like our stories have been tainted with too much ink. 

As if words in certain chapters were not ours to think. 

As if a second author has come in with the intent to erase the truths; our souls slowly begin to shrink, slowly beginning to sink. 


Sometimes we feel like our stories have been taken over by monsters. 

Like our pens were ripped from their hands when in they sauntered. 

Like our innocence is now being offered to a most brutal slaughter. 


Sometimes we think no one wants to bother with these words that we’ve bled. 

That they don’t care what’s going on inside our heads.

That they don’t care what we feel needs to be said. 


Sometimes we read the stories of others to stitch together our open wounds, to serve as our ultimate super glue. 

Yearning to find someone to connect and relate to. 

Yearning to discover someone that will see the story dancing in our eyes, all the way through. 


Sometimes we think people only want to see our stories through a black and white lens. 

That they don’t want to see what needs to be cleansed. 

That they don’t want to understand that some of our chapters are written in a different color pen. 


Sometimes we think that they believe the most important chapters of our stories need to be drowned out. 

That the drugs, the bloody fists, the filthy clutches, the clutch of a dollar bill need to be dried up from our stories in a god forsaken drought. 

That these are trivial pieces of our stories that give us no reason to pout. 


Sometimes we feel like our stories should end despite our young age. 

Because no one wants to take the time to turn more than a page. 

Because we don’t even feel like actors on our own stage. 

Because we feel like prisoners chained to an empty cage. 


But Ms. Fortin reads every one of our stories and doesn’t cut out and bail. 

She doesn’t write them off as insignificant tales. 

She sees our stories as stepping stones for new journeys, for individual sails. 


Ms. Fortin is not the second author to our stories, but is rather the key to their nurture. 

She is the editor of our futures. 

She is our dark past and our new beginning’s suture. 


Ms. Fortin is our library.

She has no intent of giving our stories to gravediggers to bury. 

She has every intent of giving our stories to her heart and soul to carry.

It is because of Ms. Fortin that we are still writing. 




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