I wanted to write a poem about all the details I gathered in my head about Laurel School today
I wanted to capture the feeling of the staff bathroom
How the door almost hits the toilet when you walk in
How the pale yellow walls looked next to the light brown Seventies Wood
How the tile looked with the grout that had been stained from years being continually dropped on it
How I wanted to take back the feeling I felt
The feeling like I was in a human being zoo
With literal bleats echoing through hallways
Children and adults alike scratching and hitting because they don't understand
Where hypochondriacs and retarded thugs and quiet angry monsters
All join together from five different counties five days a week
And where their guardians thank God for those seven blessed hours
But how precious that smile?
How cute that laugh?
How much I could cry
If I thought what might have happened to them fifty years ago in our great nation.
I got a light warm feeling from all the small desks and wiggly tables
From the calendars with velcro days and laminated birthdays marked
From the season being taped onto the walls and doors
From the stairs that were easy to walk up
From the two secretaries that knew each child by name and walked away from their papers
To give what's-her-name a great hug and another verbal confirmation of her existence.
I got a light innocent feeling from all the wheel chairs and limps
All the misplaced claps and moans
All the butt cracks and all the people holding hands.
We loaded them onto the bus
And I remember being asked what I was going to do when I got home
I remember thinking that what I was going to do when I get home would change in a few years
And I remember thinking that what
She was going to do would be the same thing that
She was going to do for the next twenty-five years