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Now it’s a blur.

All those moments—

Longing for bed after endless nights
Waking with an attack plan for each day

Search for a place to live
Furnish apartment
Register for Teaching
Register for Grad School
Eat…at Wendy’s…again.

Figure out route to work
Find local school supply store

Stand in classroom and stare at walls

So much

Where to begin?

She was a Fourth Grade teacher
Me, Fifth

First Year/First Full Time Job/New City/New School/New Apartment

“Listen, I’d like to have you over for dinner. I can show you the route I take to work, and show you some travel options.”

It was nice.
This pause for hospitality

And the hospitality felt so different here.
My cheery, “Good mornings!” mostly garnered scowls…okay maybe soft scowls…maybe confusion.

In the deep South we love you until you give cause otherwise
Wave at folks who ride through the neighborhood
Baltimore, seemed opposite.

I can’t remember how I made it to her place—if she picked me up or if I met her.
I do remember her driving a route, chatting.
I do remember her kindness
Her kitchen

She had a home well lived-in
It felt like a place that had once hustled & bustled with love
And now the hustle & bustle was the memory
Still present
Still loud and bright and wonderful

I remember her kitchen
Her stove
The colors
Soft turquoise-skyish-rainish blue

She made chicken and corn
Pulled chicken, I believe
And the corn must’ve marched right in, shucked itself and jumped into a steam bath
It was so fresh
Perfectly done.

I imagined her churning butter.

I was beginning to tire.
Overwhelmed by her hospitality and the bigness of it all.
Weighted by the next day’s agenda.

She listened to a commentary hopeful, ambitious, skeptical

What she gave me, I’ll never forget
An ally
A face in a crowd of newness that was always familiar and supportive

That was the most we talked, actually.
That bit of time together.

We worked in the same building for two years
And we didn’t speak much

Not on account of anything, in particular

I do remember going to her
Thanking her

I do remember always seeing reassurance in her eyes

I wonder what she saw in mine…

I’ve never had anyone quite like her
Who spoke volumes with her eyes, hardly any with her mouth.
I remember her eyes to be tired ones. Lively. Alive. But also, exhausted.
Sunken, but bright.

It meant even more that she mustered reassurance for each time I gazed.

I’ve lost her name.
Her place…

Perhaps if I looked in a yearbook from way back then.

But, I like what I kept
Her kindness.
Her gentleness.
Her unassuming sweetness and relentless grace.

Her Gift of Simplicity: food. direction.
She nailed the essentials.

My heart hopes her to know the impact of her kindness.

Even still.


Quiet peace.


6 thoughts on “#SOL15.#TBT.Chicken&Corn

  1. Beth Scanlon March 13, 2015 / 1:07 am

    What a wonderful gift! The poem to her and the experience and friendship to you…I love how you captured the moment.

    • charinickerson March 13, 2015 / 8:37 pm

      Thank you for your comment and for stopping by. I do hope the poem reaches her, for real, or in a dream or in a breeze…she was so sweet to me!

  2. Sonja Schulz March 13, 2015 / 1:17 am

    you are an amazing writer. you perfectly captured a wonderful moment in time and the simple gifts that mean so much. Seriously—you are truly gifted!

    • charinickerson March 13, 2015 / 1:31 pm

      Sonja, Thank you! Your compliments mean so much. Thank you for stopping by & reading my post!

  3. beckymusician March 13, 2015 / 1:43 am

    This is beautiful – so evocative of a time, a place, and feelings. Just beautiful.

    • charinickerson March 13, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words.

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