By Rob Lewis
Bellngham City Hall, 3/15/19
Where the sun meets the earth
your education begins.
Where the gold light meets the green striving
the lesson plan is all laid out.
Your teachers sing from the branches.
Stored knowledge shines in the leaves.
Study closely this living encyclopedia.
Become friends with things
and they will reward you with their meanings.
Though the adult world seems to have abandoned you
The earth is behind you every step of the way.
You have on your side all flowers and all rivers,
mountains and sand grains and the universes
inside those sand grains.
You have the oceans around you and the one inside you,
which occasionally appears on the lip of your eyelid
in the brief relief of a tear.
You didn’t come across waves of time
to fulfill the educational metrics of the state.
You are not given sight, and hearing and imagination
just to elbow past the others
in an economy that’s liquidating the world.
Out of the earth you came.
You hold in your eyes
the sun’s own candles
Don’t be afraid to burn
a few bad ideas down.
Don’t be afraid to dazzle us
with your fire.