Poem: Teaching


by Meg Withers


There’s nothing like teaching a Read 81 class, and looking

into the eyes of someone –  the class clown

(myself in 11th grade), and saying: “You are a really smart guy.”

The clown face flickers. He looks to see if I’m sort of

putting him on, but I’m looking right back, and I mean it.

We’re gonna be good, me and him. Grammar notwithstanding.

This is a teaching prose poem folks. Where everyone learns.


Meg Withers is “the busiest kid I’ve ever had to watch,” as her cousin Lidia describes her. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Merced Community College, is a committed community activist and general all around busybody. She is the author of Must Be Present to Win (Ghost Road Press, 2005), which was her Master’s thesis from SFSU, and, A Communion of Saints, (Tinfish Press, 2008), a book of prose poems, which was her MFA thesis, dealing with the AIDS epidemic in Honolulu during the 1980’s, when no one looked, except in horror and hate, and few were helping. Her third book, Shadowed: Unheard Voices, (The Press at Fresno State, 2014) arose out of the desire to honor women, whose voices are sometimes not heard, and especially her mother, an extraordinary woman, who had no idea how valuable her voice was. Meg has been published in literary and creative journals and magazines, national and international, and likes to think she makes a difference in an often indifferent world.


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