For Y-A-S-M-I-N

When we first met I set out to help you

find your place in this world called school.

But I didn’t know what this world was like

from your carpet square in the circle.


All those blurry swirls

of songs and games.

Stories with pictures that make no sense.

People talking over and around you

and pushing you this way and that.


I thought I would teach you.

But instead you’ve taught me.

P is for Portebella,

P-I-N-O-C-C-H-I-O spells Pinocchio.

And always keep on moving.

Your own two feet will take you anywhere you want to go,

but if it’s not bright when you get there,

move on.

With a moo moo here and a baa baa there,

the best way to look at something is to press your nose up

and get as close as possible.

Red, orange, yellow

Green, blue, purple

is the way a rainbow goes.

Look for the order and rhythm in everything

even if it’s hard to find.


I wanted to make you understand me,

But instead I’ve come to understand you.

As you sit beside me on the swings and squeal

“Don’t be such a guppie!”

I know what you are really asking is

“Won’t you please play with me?”

And then again when you stare off into space

and start singing to yourself

I know it’s your way of saying

“Hey, this lesson’s lost its umph.”

Even though I can’t hear you

when you climb into my lap and start playing with my hair,

Your smile says “Thank-you for coming in today

and thank-you for staying right here.”


I’ve learned the secret language

of Disney quotes.

We don’t practice letters—we dance!

Walk to the bus?  We jump!

Each day we sing –and you remind me

that a dream is a wish your heart makes.


At first, I once thought I could make you fit in

somewhere in this world of books and crayons and

fairy tales.

But instead you moved over and made room for me

on your carpet square in the circle.


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