Teachery Poems

There is no real separation between who April is as a poet and her role as a teacher.  Eventually, even her students begin to appear in her work.

Teachering Manifesto

You do this thing where you speed
66 in a 60 MPH zone with the windows
rolled down–the heated air blows 
your mind clean of all the debris and
excess trapped between your ears
from 109 twelve-year-olds and the
electric funk they call thinking.
The cars and trucks roar on Kellogg,
KS HWY 54, 
and you turn the volume up on the
stereo playing cliched 80s tunes
just to remind you that you are more
than expo markers or a smart board. 
You are more than sentence fragments
and completely illogical causal relationships
that only make sense between two slabs
of Wonder white and grape jam.

  • PoetryforTheMasses
  • Sand River (2013)


In Middle School

In middle school,
you learn to sit down and shut up.
You learn to cross your arms and your legs.

You learn it’s better, more attractive,
to smile with only a hint of teeth,
to shy away from the snapping bra strap,
to giggle helplessly, cover your mouth coyly,
when you really want
to smack,
beat down,
breath fire.

In middle school,
you learn to hide your tampons in your sock
nestled near your ankle,
in the waistband of your pocketless pants,
because leggings have no secrets.

You learn to outline your eyes,
blush your cheeks and ripen your mouth,
but keep that tongue
because no one likes
a know-it-all.

In middle school,
you learn to be better with words than numbers,
to pretend you don’t understand,
because you’re pretty and
that’s a more tradable commodity
than all the right answers on all the wrong tests.

  • Malpais Review


Between 2nd and 3rd Hour

You Cray-Cray she says, and I don’t have the heart
or the courage to tell her that I have no idea what
that means, but since she has her warm brown arm

slung around my neck, I step in tandem. We move
through the hall, her hip brushing mine, the bone an
exclamation point along the side of my body, and

the cacophony blurs out her next words, her face
turned from mine, her voice gleefully calling out.
Her momentum propels me in the wrong direction,

and I have to find the breath to tell her that my class
is the other way, and I worry about being late, and
if I have enough pencils, but mostly I worry about

whether or not she will ever put her arm around me
again, so I keep going. And I know that’s what’s
wrong with my whole life, that I just keep going.

  • Sand River (2013)



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