Gritty Details

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tonight's Poet Corner: The Student Next Door

The Student Next Door
by Belinda Roddie

The student next door
knows every word
to the song you've written
for a steel string guitar. She
listens to each soft syllable
and mouths along to a sweet
lullaby that she never got
to hear from the lips of her own
cold and soggy mother.

The student next door
hears every conversation
you have with your wife
over dinner and drinks. No
matter how banal the subject
of the chat, she'll cling to
"So I thought about..." and
"Whatever you think is right,
I'll support you." And of course,
she collects each "I love you"
and saves it in her back pocket.

The student next door
doesn't know your name, nor
knows where you work or
what you teach. While the
summer's still hot, she'll find you
in your classroom, counting out all
your passions by hand. And she'll
recognize your voice, and she'll
see the calluses on your fingers, and
she won't stop smiling.

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