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Ode to the Military Child

“Guess what, Teacher?”

“I’m not moving after all!”

Instantaneous thoughts
Pull every scenario possible
Into my mind:
     How wonderful!
     But I had already
          prepared myself
          to be sad.
     Your friends will be
          so glad!
     We really don’t need
          the desk that
          badly, do we?
     I’d hoped to keep this one!

“April Fool’s!”

Sudden heartbreak
Makes my face fall again.
     That wasn’t funny.
          Not one
          little bit.

“I’m going to miss you,

Automatically, but sincerely,
My lips begin to smile.
“I’ll miss you, too.”


Happy April Fool’s Day! Happy Poetry Month! And Happy Military Child Month!

The above poem is a nearly word-for-word conversation I had with a student this morning. This student moved into my classroom in November when her father was to be stationed in our state. About 6 weeks ago, her family learned that her father’s orders had been changed and they would have to move back to their last base. Frustratingly, we weren’t sure when they would need to return. Tomorrow, though, really will be her last day in my classroom after no more than 4 months here. Her house is all packed up, and as sad as she is to leave, she doesn’t like living in a packed up house, either!

The kids in my classroom may never see a war zone or participate in battle, but they live through their own struggles and anxieties every day. These kids are so brave, and they don’t even know that they need to be.