If Only You Knew
This poem is a written reflection that Maraina wrote in the early transition from in-school service during these uncertain times. “As I got to know them this year, I found myself wondering who they’d become, what they’d like, what they’d wear once they were old enough to make those choices for themselves. I wrote this poem when faced with the reality that I might not see my students again, at least not as they were this year.”
To my first grade students:
I wonder how tall you’ll be
or what size shoe you’ll wear.
I wonder if you’ll wear a watch
or how you’ll style your hair.
I wonder whether trying your best
will bring a smile to your face.
Or if you’ll take the easy route
and settle for second place.
Will you still raise your hand in class
to make sure you’ve got things right?
Or will you copy someone’s work
when you know you’re out of sight?
Will you still like your applesauce
and chocolate milk at lunch?
Or do big kids only eat their sweets
And drink Capri Sun Fruit Punch?
Will teddy bears still be your friends,
the ones you bring to school?
Or will you hide them under your bed
because stuffed animals aren’t cool?
How about hugs, will you still want them
or is distance coming soon?
Either way I’ll soak them up
as I greet you outside my room.
If only you knew what you’ve done
to change my life this year.
Some of you would sob with me
some wouldn’t even shed a tear.
But from where I sit I’m lucky
for having known you when I did,
because I met the younger you,
the bright smiling kid.
Maraina Weyl currently serves as a City Year AmeriCorps member in San José/ Silicon Valley. She has served the amazing community of San Antonio Elementary School where she worked with 1st grade, during the school day and in the afterschool program.
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