My Teacher’s Allergies

My teacher has these allergies

That don’t seem like normal maladies.

Listen, and tell me, if you will,

If these behaviors make a teacher ill.

Burping and yawning, somewhat normal things,

Make my teacher’s eyeballs sting.

Say, “Excuse me” after you do it,

She’ll say, “Just stop. I’m allergic to it.”

Unpushed chairs and crooked tables

Cause a rash upon her elbows.

Dirty hands or food on your face?

Both will cause her heartbeat to race.

The drinking fountain during instruction

Will cause her tear duct’s abnormal function.

With tears streaming down her hot, red cheeks

She’ll say, “It’s my allergies; no more drinks for three weeks.”

Toys in kids’ pockets she’s not very good with.

Without your full attention joints get stiff.

And don’t dare mess with any of her stuff

Or the skin on her feet will start to get rough.

The sound of Velcro makes her sneeze,

Quibbling gives her itchy knees

Excuses, even if they’re true,

Make her ears turn black and blue.

Underwear showing, or worse, a butt crack,

Will make her allergies start to attack.

Her nose will run, her eyes will water,

Her hand on her head means she’s feeling hotter.

If on your skin you choose to write,

With my teacher it makes her throat go tight.

And don’t put those germy hands in your mouth.

She’s allergic to even the thought of filth.

No interrupting, no answering others’ questions.

These only worsen my teacher’s conditions.

Don’t pick your nose, don’t let it run,

The resulting reaction is a frightening one.

If you echo the teacher or somehow interfere

She’ll get a buzzing in her inner ear.

And jiggling or moving excessively

Will make her stomach bloat extensively.

If you raise your hand when you have a thought

And, when called upon, say, “I forgot,”

My teacher’s breathing practically stops

As all of her innards tie up in knots.

Noticing a spider on the floor

Won’t make her allergies act up more,

But if you mention it to the class

Her allergies are worse than any time in the past.

With my teacher we’ll never have opposite day.

Her hands swell when things don’t go just the right way.

Be sure not to let your zipper get stuck

Or my teacher, with her allergies, will be out of luck.

So, my teacher’s allergies… what do you think?

Will she really pour tears if you just get a drink?

Or is she just faking it day after day

To make sure we behave in a certain way?

Where I am Me


Across the threshold

Through the door

Back to reality.

I’ve been away

For just a day

To a place

Where I am me.

No obligations

Nor expectations


And agenda free.

Here I am mom,

Teacher, colleague,

Companion, neighbor,


But what am I

If none of these?


I contend.


So I step

Through this door

Back to reality.

Back to the place

Where I am known

Where I am known

As me.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!


Sure, there are mornings when I’d rather sleep in

When I’d rather write than run

But I’ve made plans

That I must keep

With my running partner, Dawn.

Wicked Witch of the West

Start with this claWicked Witchssic image.

Scrap the long dress that would catch in the chain.

An above-knee skirt is less problematic.

Until there’s a headwind.

That posture? Befitting for a school marm.

But a deliberate lean is required on a mountain bike.

And no slick white walls rolling here.

It’s knobbies. Because, you see,

We’re not in Kansas anymore.

Trade the hat out for a helmet,

Owing to modern bicycle fashion.

And pavement.

A fashionable scarf versus that little black tie,

And dangly earrings and sunglasses

To accessorize.

The shoes—the heels at least—

Resemble those of the cowboy boots

That pedal this iron horse.

Lose the baskets and add a backpack.

Heart rate equal, I’d say,

Based on the music of the scene.

Spice up that sepia with the colors of fall

Then turn that frown upside down.

And there you have it—

A picture of me riding to work.



Photo credit

The alarm. Grunt, groan, complain, moan?

No! Celebrate!

Appreciate. Rejoice. Commemorate.

A comfortable bed. Home. Silence.

Shelter. Safety. Peace.

Another day. Opportunity. Enthusiasm.

Exercise. Good health. Good times.

A hot shower. Plumbing. Products.

Breakfast. Choices. Nutrition.

Daughters. Sharing space. Sharing lives.

Work. Meaningful work. Creativity.

Children. Precious faces. Malleable minds.

Lessons to impart. Lessons to learn.

Literacy. Books. Pencils and paper.

Communication. Community. Commitment.

Dog. Wag. Unconditional love.

Family. Regrouping. Sharing our days.

Activities. Opportunity. Growth.

Him. Us. Easy.

Memories. Hopes. Dreams.

Written in response to the Daily Prompt: Celebrate Good Times

Dying On My Street

I was teaching school

Just teaching school

A woman was dying


On my street

I was caught up

In a moment

A moment of life

Of learning and laughing


Unaware at that moment

That it was the last

The last for

The woman who was dying


Alone on my street

A ditch

A ditch in a front yard

On my street

Five houses down

Is where she was


And I

I was commenting

Just commenting on

What a beautiful fall day

It was

While the woman was dying


On my street.

Just Another Morning

I see him there just in time

Just in time to stop a few feet short

Lying there in front of the parking bumper

Of the space into which I just pulled.

He is on his side

On his side in the fetal position

His face turned just his face toward the morning sun

Smiling slightly in the warmth of it all.

The sun glints on the beard brown not gray

Small round wire frames against smooth skin

A hat a plaid flannel shirt clean jeans

And I walk away and into the store.

I eavesdrop as I get a drink to go

He was there when she opened this morning

Sleeping where he lay now by my car

A dozen others listen pay comment go.

She had checked on him shook him

Unable to wake him she called the police

That was nearly three hours ago

No sign of them and still he lies there.

Asleep passed out unconscious

In need of medical attention no one knows

And then the siren approaching

The fire truck pulling up beside my car.

Out I walk drink in hand just another morning

But I stop and watch them do their job

Needing to know that it is not a medical situation

That the man I almost hit is not sick injured dead.

Wake up they yell a few feet away

Then wake up wake up with clapping near his face

Wake up or we’ll take you to the hospital

He stirs sits squints considers his surroundings.

I walk away and into my car start my engine

My engine which is too loud near this man this human

Who I almost didn’t see in time and then

Then I drive to work just another morning.


What is luxury?*

Something inessential

But conducive to

Pleasure and comfort**

A queen size bed

‘Neath a ceiling fan

Firm mattress

No top sheet


Squished to perfectly cradle

My weary mind

A down comforter

Of the most ideal weight

Some limbs covered

The others exposed


To facilitate

And regulate

The ultimate temperature

This, for me,

Is luxury.


*Written for the WordPress Daily Prompt: Luxurious   What’s one luxury you can’t live without?

**According to the Free Online Dictionary


Have you called your handyman?

About four years ago.

Been seeing him since.

What? Really?

You can do better than that.

Oh, I’ve done better.

I did better for 20 years.Handyman

Better was egotistical.

Better was a bully.

Better was complicated.

Better was busy

And never had the time

For his lowlife

Of a wife,

The little miracles

That were his children.

So if that’s better

I’ll take worse.

Because yah,

I’ve called my handyman.

And guess what?

He’s been on the line

With me

Ever since.

Plain Beauty

A summer of tapering

Then quitting altogether

Anxiety, yes

Pain, no

The honeymoon stage

Energetic, optimistic, confident

I can do this

No longer a slave

To my thirty-year habit

Of covering my face

Enhancing the real me

The withdrawal

From cosmetics

Veiled for now

By the outdoor life of summer

The tan, the sunglasses, a hat

Still, in the mirror

Someone else

Faded, blurry

A distant relative

A younger me

An older me

Then it’s back to teaching

To my people, my colleagues

A complete unveiling

Will we be strangers

Quiet, unsure, puzzled

Or will they accept me

Encourage me to do the same

I feel the wall

The pressure of a relapse

Shall I run back to beautiful

Or is it no longer there

And was it ever

Support is critical

No one stares

Or cares, really

They see me as me

The real me

The unveiled me

And in the mirror

I know her now

But what about photos

Who is that person

Faded, blurry

A distant relative

A younger me

An older me

The adjustment stage

Short-lived or

A lifetime of wondering

Questioning my choice

A gift for now

Of acceptance




Letting others see in me

What I have always seen in them

Plain beauty.

No make up

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