Category Archives: Poems

A Poem for Spring Break

by ALISTAIR BOMPHRAY

6 Teachers and 1 Healer

Photo by Mose Williams

For 6 teachers and 1 healer
Spring Break looms
like the blue on a map of the desert—
a temporary acquittal,
or some kind of
seventh inning stretch.

Down, down
into the grandest of cracks
6 teachers and 1 healer
go.
Upon our backs
1 week’s worth of food & gear
and a not-so efficiently packed
bulk
of that other kind of
baggage.

It is a pilgrimage, I guess.
Not to a temple,
or even the ruins of one,
but to some vague intangible destination
of the heart—
a river to tempt us
and some birds to sing us
deeper.

There will be no talk of teaching.
Even the most innocent mention of a failed lesson plan or problem student
is punishable by death.
Conversation will be restricted to
quantity and quality of bowel movements,
bold affirmations of the obvious,
things like,
“Whoa, that canyon is big,”
and—post-descent, feet hot, shoulders sore—
the creaks and moans of an old house
settling in again
after the long, hard winter.

Cresting along the lip
of what one park ranger refers to
as Mouther Nature
6 teachers and 1 healer
read the landscape as only the semi-literate can—
behold the yucca
which flowers once every hundred years
and did you know a rattlesnake can jump
10-15 feet
before sinking its fangs
into your balls?

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