Monthly Archives: October 2017

Song of Myself


I was teaching Song Of Myself to my students and I asked them to write their own song, and promised them I would write mine too.  Here it is..

Song  of myself

I’m tired

I’m always tired

I’m mother AND father

I’m teacher AND student

Cook, mechanic, housekeeper

Cattle-herder, grocery shopper

Nurse, teacher, zoo-keeper


…in my free time.

I’m tired.

And excited.

I climb 108 stairs everyday

To see 120 sixth-graders.

When I walk in the room,

I hope they love poetry

As much as I do.

I have energy in the classroom

(I drink a lot of coffee)

I lose energy on the stairs.

When I get home,

I collapse on the couch,

Because I’m tired.


Sometimes, I forget I’m in China.

Sometimes, I feel like gravity doesn’t hold me

On this side of the world,

And I’ll fall off if I’m not paying attention.


Sometimes, I miss Cleveland.

I miss Lake Erie and pierogis.

Indians games and LeBron James.

Trees, parks, fresh air

and quiet.

I miss American Chinese food

Real Apples, and fresh sweet corn.


I miss driving.

I miss going to work

On the shoreway

Along the lake

Through downtown

Down Martin Luther King Blvd.

Between all of the International gardens

Gandhi waves at me

Past the columns of Greece

And the statues of Italy.

I don’t miss an empty refrigerator.

I don’t miss not having money

To fix my car.

I don’t miss not being able to buy

Shoes or Christmas presents for my babies.

I’m still struggling

But there is food in the fridge,

We all have new shoes 

–even me.

And I took them to Disneyland

–Which I couldn’t have dreamed of,

5 years ago.

It’s good to know

I’m in the right place

At the right time.

Even if I’m tired.