Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Poem #135 of 365

One at a time I face them
with love, feel where they're at,
nod while they speak.

It is lunchtime on campus
and the boys and girls
go searching for food
for their minds and
their mouths.

They approach our table
which is set to entice, and they
nibble at pamphlets and
cards, information for free.

I try not to leap, but am eager
to greet and hold conversations,
treat them as adults,
young as they are.

When I say 'recruit' they
recoil and step back, as if
sprayed with hot water
until I explain, speak softly
and slow.

No way, no way, many kids
declare. I'm not going to join, won't
fight in a war. I say, I'll do what
I can to show you some options,
you don't have to dress as a soldier
to get money for school.

And so then they relax, and bring
their steps closer, and tell me their
stories and open their hands. I'm
hoping they make the best choice
for their lives.

(tabling with Peaceful Vocations at one of 13 high school campuses in the FWISD)

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

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