Still Some Work to Do

Gayle Sands

I remember the time
One summer…
A student rode up on his bike as I worked in the yard
He was dishevelled, grimy, jeans shorts and too-small t-shirt,
a grin wreathing his face.
He threw his arms around me in a sweaty hug.
“Hey, Miss Sands! How’s it goin’? You’re not going to believe this—
I’m reading a chapter book!”

And I was.  My heart swelled just a little bit.
He had been almost illiterate, a seventh grader
at the alternative school where I taught.

I remember the time…

I thought that If we had accomplished this breakthrough,
Anything was possible. This was the reward we all seek.
I told him how proud I was.
We chatted about the book for a moment, then
he looked over his shoulder, hopped on the bike, and,
calling out, “See you later!”, rocketed down the road.
I chuckled and shook my head. Exactly what I was used to from him.

Two middle schoolers ran up, panting
“Did you see him? Which way did he go?
That’s my bike—he stole it!”

I remember the time…
I realized that there was still some work to do…

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