Ode dear.

My studentsPhoto0406

engaged with our
classroom material!

Rh negative blood shows
up with more frequency
than authentic interest

b ooks2my high school sophomores
academic pursuits escape
without breaking a sweat

until today, our unit on poetry

contemporary poetic takes
on relationships, life,
old basketball players,
the homeless
and disenfranchised

have left them unmoved,
their empathy still pristine
in their blister packs

Today we read, write odes –beatboy
puppies, cars, cheerleading;
tributes to video games,
paeans to
socks, cheese, urns, lamps;
dead soldiers, old beauty
queens, blank paper, life

pique curiosity, prompt

student salutes to pizza,
kittens, guns, gumbo

we explore synonyms for
like, praise, honor, worship;
admire, love, ‘really like’.
hyperbole flows
like spilled syrupaudience

and we never stop to
clean up our messes.

Each class repeats
the pattern
reveling in the un-poetic
praising the mundane
flattering the obscureblindsquirrel

acknowledging stuff.

My day ends with ample
praises having been
ambiguously, unassuredly
sung, shouted mumbling
from loose-leaf rooftops

nut-finding blind squirrels
would be at home
in my classroom,
would probably listen at least
as intently as my students
as I recite for the
pseudo-attentive
sophomore masses

this salutation to success
my ode to odes.

– Mark Lucker