A brilliance rang in her smile,
crooked teeth, gums showing,
she smiled with no restraint –
just like the eager child in my
classroom, hands springing up
in the air soon as I pop a question.
Whether sure or not, he’d shoot up
prompt and brilliant in his participation.
She smiled like that child, owning the conversation,
like he owned the discussion about
topics entirely unknown to him.
This is her way of saying, I’m here too,
talk to me, as she cleared her throat
purposefully. Perhaps he’d be bored
in a classroom if he knew any better,
perhaps she’d have had enough now
at 70, if she’d ever heard a word.