#85: The Eight Year Old Son of the American English Teacher Illustrates the Chinese Poets

Em Whiteboard Mural

It’s a teacher work-day
and Mom is getting an MRI,
so the boy comes with Dad to school,
takes copious notes during the staff meeting
and afterwards creates a mural in the classroom.
He begins with the tree.
When you come back from Spring Break, he says,
you can do a lesson about trees.
Consider it done, Dad says, and he
tells his son about the Chinese poets,
wherein it is written all about the trees
and the rivers and the mountains.
The boy creates a key so that everyone understands
that brown is for dirt and/or wood,
that black is the color of rock and stone,
green is the color of the leaves on the tree,
blue is the color of the river’s flowing waters,
and white is snow and the generative void
of absence which eventually gives birth
to the ten thousand things
of the empirical, dry erase-board world.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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