Friday, May 28, 2010

The Truth Hurts

We learned about sonnets, we read sonnets, we wrote sonnets, and then we shared our sonnets. ( I wrote one, too; I often write with the kids. Mine was LAME.) The next day is Sit in Computer-generated Groups of Three and Share Our Sonnets Day, and since one kid is absent, I take his place in C and H's group.

C looks so troubled. He can't meet my eyes.

Me: What's wrong?
C: Nothing.
Me: I don't believe you. You look so sad.

We swap poems once. I look up, and C's face just breaks my heart.

Me: What's wrong?
C: Nothing.
Me: Wanna talk to a counselor?
C: No. I'm fine.

We swap poems twice. C's eyes are brimming with tears. I realize my sonnet is terrible, but not that terrible.

Me: C, I really wish you'd talk to someone. I wanna send you to the counseling office.
C. I really wish you wouldn't. I'm fine, really.

Fast forward two weeks. Our Seminar class is to see a play together, and parents are dropping kids off at school for car pooling. Of course I am running to every vehicle, shaking hands, thanking parents, discussing pick up strategies, and when C's mom rolls down the passenger window, I understand his heartache.

His mom is pale, painfully thin, and wears a tell tale head scarf.

Damn cancer: now I'm crying, too.

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