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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

SLICE 11/31- SOMEONE CRIES PRETTY MUCH EVERY DAY

I'm not sure I should admit this,
but pretty much every day,
somebody cries in sixth grade.

Today there were two.
This morning D cried.
She's afraid her mom might be dying.
I saw her mom a couple of days ago
she didn't seem sick.
She works at nearby restaurant
and was wearing her uniform.
I ask D if her mom is in the hospital.
She isn't.
I ask if they went to the emergency room.
She didn't.
Why do you think she's dying? I ask.
You can see those blue lines.
Those blue lines? I say.
Yes. She says, pointing to the veins
snaking across my old lady hands.
You mean her veins? I say.
You think she's dying because you can see her veins?
And then she tells me that there is purple
around one of the blue lines on her hand.
I'm trying to put the pieces together.
I'm thinking perhaps her mom has a bruise on her hand.
In the mean time, A jumps into the conversation.
My mom gets lots of those, she says.
She says there are these little tiny red hairs
all underneath your skin
all through your body.
This seems to appease D.
Your mom gets them too?
Yes, says A.
But she's not dying.
She's at work making cannolis.
D seems much relieved.

This afternoon K cried.
Was sobbing when she walked in the door to class
With a friend holding her up on either side
Are you ok, I asked.
Even though she clearly was not.
Is there anything I can do?
No, she says, I don't want to talk about it.
I watch as she walks across the room to her seat
Puts her head down on her desk.
Doesn't raise it for at least five minutes.
I make sure everyone else is started on independent reading
and go across the room
Her face is tear-stained
but she isn't crying any more
Can I do anything?
I ask again.
No, she says, I don't want to talk about it.
Will you let me know if I can help?
 I say as I move away.
She nods.
Five minutes later she is laughing with her table mates and
shortly after that, she leaves for an internship meeting.
She seems ok.

I'm not sure I should admit this,
but pretty much every day,
somebody cries in sixth grade.

2 comments:

Jean said...

I loved this! "Will you let me know if I can help?" is perfect. My favorite part is the independent reading!

Elisabeth Ellington said...

Another amazing piece, Carol. I wonder if someone cries pretty much every day in every school? I remember a lot of tears when I taught high school too!!