I haven’t written in eight weeks. I’m still here!
The last month of school is always a hectic rush for a teacher — trying to jam the last bits of curriculum into the overcrowded schedule, giving and grading final exams, holding end-of-term class parties, writing reports — but this year I had the added weight of grieving for my friend Allen.
Everywhere I looked on the farm, I saw projects we had worked on together. And now he is dead and the farm felt empty. What was the point of all the work if there was no one to show it to?
My school responsibilities have been finished for a month now, and as I’ve spent more time working outside in the sun and rain, the ache has begun to shift. Now Allen has joined my parents as a beloved person from the past who is still somehow part of my present, in my daily thoughts.
I can picture the conversation in the truck as I explain this idea to him.
“Allen, there was this poet. His name was E. E. Cummings. He was famous for never using capital letters and punctuation — but that’s not important. The thing is, he wrote this poem. And there is a line that I always remember. It goes:
i carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
“And that’s what I think of, when I think of you.”
Allen nods and pats my hand. I’m sure it reminds him of a country song.