Poetry

by Jennifer Brown Banks

THEY TELL US NOT TO HUG THE KIDS

(A TEACHER’S LAMENT)

 

They tell us not to hug the kids,

But I suspect

Someone never did

Hug the kids,

 

From this exists the genesis—-

The underlying reason,

Some never reach their season,

 

Why some are violent,

Some are silent,

And some break the rules

In school,

 

A lack of hugs

And love unknown

In their homes,

 

They tell us not to hug the kids,

To make boundaries clear,

Allay fears,

And keep their innocence near,

 

They tell us not to hug the kids,

But I suspect

Someone never did

Hug the kids,

 

In a day and age when a hug

And a smile could

Help to heal

A troubled child,

They tell us not to hug the kids,

 

They tell us not to hug the kids,

But I suspect

Someone never did

Hug the kids,

 

 

 

Which is why

Sometimes I go home and cry

And hug my kids

 

_______________________

 

IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR ABSENCE

(in loving memory of Pete) 

 

Hour by hour

Day by day,

I struggle to find my way,

In the presence of your absence

 

Pain and memories so deep,

At night I can barely sleep,

In the presence of your absence

 

Beloved brother,

I regret all the things I didn‘t say,

But life is just that way,

We often put off ‘til tomorrow

What we should do today,

 

And still, I pray,

That you somehow knew

What you meant to us,

In the presence of your absence

 

Sure, we would sometimes

Disagree and fuss,

As families often do,

Maybe shed a tear or two,

But we always knew

Once the dust settled,

We would love, laugh

And break bread together again,

Like old friends,

Like God intends,

 

I really wish that you could stay

There‘s so much I didn‘t say,

And I pray,

That you are now in a better place,

Where your worries can finally cease,

Where God provides eternal peace.          

 

© 2018 JENNIFER BROWN BANKS