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  • Pedro
    Jarquin

    English & Art History

    In What Way?

     

    One day a student told me there was no way I could feel them.
    There was no way I’d relate.
    I took this as them thinking there was no way I could heal them.
    There was no way we’d equate.

    So I asked them “in what way?”

    They told me I had no idea what it’s like to be poor.
    They told me I would never know what’s hood.
    They told me I would never know what’s hardcore.
    They told me no one ever understood.

    So I asked them “in what way?”

    They told me no one understood the struggle.
    They told me no one understood their pain.
    They told me in a way that wasn’t subtle,
    that all us teacher people were the same.

    So I asked them “in what way?”

    The student soon grew weary of my questioning.
    They started asking questions of their own.
    They even asked me if I was arresting them.
    I said: “my classroom’s not a jail, it is a home.”
    And I explained…
    I grew up with the poorest of the poor,
    where you don’t expect to see another day.
    ‘Cause I was born into an ugly “civil war,”
    in a third-world country far away,
    where eating beans and rice was a commodity,
    only if you had the means to get paid.
    Getting where I got makes me an oddity.
    I too, have faced some of these hardcore stakes.
    My parents left me when I was a baby.
    I had to flee my home when I was six.
    There are those who’ve lived the struggle daily;
    who have broken and are now ready to fix.
    I’m not your king.  I don’t expect you to follow me.
    You just don’t need to question how far I have delved.
    ‘Cause when I come into this classroom I bring all of me;
    the one who feels you and the one who wants to help.

    THEN my student asked, “in what way?”