Young Teacher


Young Teacher


Eager laundry helper, our godson.

Placing clothes in washer, adding soap, pulling the knob.

Then the dryer!

Cleaning lint trap, adding clothes, pushing start.


He’s five.

Our hope is for his never-waning enthusiasm in mundane chores.

Lately his added desire

Has been not only cleaning the screen

But saving the lint for an art project!

How could anyone ignore such a request?


Last week we made three linten bowls –

Or Lenten bowls –

With glue, paint, plastic-wrap covered containers and our salvaged goods.

A time-consuming project

With my silent, concluding response:

I’m glad this is done.


But, as is often the case with wise teachers and art,

The bowl is not done with me.


Flecks of fibers that clog the dryer

Or are tossed into the trash,

Are they not like some people we encounter –

Friends or acquaintances, strangers or co-workers

Who impede our goals or desires?

Are there not some of God’s beloved who we treat as expendable?

As less than?

As suited for the garbage?


Holy One, thank you for a little boy

Who can see wonder

In something that I would discard.

Thank you for his unabashed engagement in life.


Shake me from busyness and preconceived notions

That I might be awestruck by beauty

Even and especially in unexpected places.


©November 18, 2017 Cynthia Langston Kirk