Teacher Says

There was only one reason really to think about
going into fifth grade and start smiling about it

I was getting Mr. Hansen, the teacher I was hoping for

I’ve seen him in his classroom
so tall
so handsome
that five o’clock shadow always, even in the morning
like Don Draper
(Mom tapes Mad Man and I sneak peeks)

I sat up on hot summer nights
imagining chalk sliding across the board
in smoooooooth strokes
It gave me shivers, wishing the chalk was his hand
and I was the chalkboard

School started and I wore my new earrings
because Mom let me pierce my ears for my birthday

Last Thursday afternoon, I asked for extra help
with math – we’re starting to study all the different angles
(My sister calls me obtuse but I still don’t understand why)

He smiled and I could tell he liked that I asked him
For a few minutes, at his desk, just the two of us
Then he brushed his hand on my leg and said,
You shave your legs. That’s pretty grown-up of you.
I blushed and muttered thank you and tingled all over

We’re gonna do the math thing once a week
He said he’s got a way to show me how right angles work
but I shouldn’t tell anybody because the other girls
might get jealous, you know how young girls are, he said
I said, don’t worry, it’ll be our secret

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Wrote this today, no prompt, just something that was in that huge grab-bag of scraps I keep by my desk.  It’s like Felix the Cat’s Bag of Tricks – I reach in, pull out a few scribbles, and expand one of the thoughts into a complete poem.  Such is the work of this poet.  It will, as always, be on Poets United, the poets’ collective.  Peace, Amy