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Mrs. Green

06 April, 2019: Mrs. Green


Mrs. Green

by Roger Craik

Cocooned in sage-green sheets,
your little fingers corridored
in all of mine, you mused:
“I loved Mrs. Green. She was old school.
Oh, seven or eight we must have been.
She made Erin Church, in front of all of the class,
turn out her desk. It was full of wrappers.
Erin Church was messy. She began to cry.
And the day she retired, we were all lined up.
I tried not to cry
but I did.
She held me briefly by the chin.
Mrs. Green wore smart clothes
and smelt lovely. She told me
not to move my lips when I read.”
This broke from me while I
was doing something else.
I wrote it down just like this, just as it came,
moving my lips with every word.

“Mrs. Green” by Roger Craik from In Those Years. van zeno press, 2007. Used by permission of the author.

Born in England and educated at the University of Reading and the University of Southampton, Roger Craik worked in Turkey before coming to America in 1991, from which time he taught English at Kent State University. He was awarded Fulbright scholarships to Bulgaria and Romania and has written five books of poetry. He lives in Ashtabula, Ohio.


Write a poem about your grade school bus ride, car ride or walk to school.

This world was ours
Not all best friends
But Market Street Elementary
End to end

Only took 2 streets to fill the bus
43 of us, total
Mere half mile drive
That felt like it took 4 years to arrive
4/7/2019 10:56:14 PM

Passing strange he walks
Passing through school gates he must
Pass as black or white
4/6/2019 3:19:22 PM

Becky Hall
Waiting for the middle school bus
5th grade band was early, before school, so I had to endure them
My big French horn in my hand, I boarded, but
“Leave that up here by me, young lady. Too big for your seat.”
Every stop it tumbled down the steps to the door
Every stop I scrambled after it followed by middle school taunts
Opening the case in Mrs Worthington’s room
Seeing the creased brass
Feeling the shame
Of the bus
All over again
Every Tuesday and Thursday
4/6/2019 1:44:42 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.