You Are School

You Are School

The season to return to school is near,
A time of woe for some, for others cheer,
Tradition was you’d fill your backpack full,
With paper, pens and all the learning tools,

But now you are presented with a task,
To learn at home, online, sometimes with mask,
Uncertainty is the name of your new friend,
And we know not when this hard time will end,

Yet let me offer hope to fight your fears,
From someone who once taught for many years,
School is a place that used a bell to start,
But school is also living in your heart,

I know this truth with complete certainty,
For housed inside us is ... curiosity,
It’s what compelled you once to take full stock,
Of all the crawly things beneath the rock,

It’s why you climbed a tree or played with mud,
It’s why you built a fort or caused a flood,
It’s why you take apart those things you can,
And why once after bubbles you once ran,

We want to know ourselves and our sweet world,
It is the engine for all that we’ve unfurled,
Of course, we need the guidance of a teacher,
And tasks and projects, goals to reach a future,

But now’s the time to recognize your power,
And stand and be a mighty mindful tower,
Fight sloth, game less, instead please dedicate,
Your energy, your strength to learning great,

Thy independence is a thing of such beauty,
Embrace and celebrate your sovereignty,
So make your motto to do your true best,
And let wonder take care of all the rest.

Gene Kahane is one of Alameda’s Poets Laureate.