Ms. Brilliantine: (standing near her desk) Good morning, everyone!
Class: (boisterously) Good morning, Ms. B!
Ms. B: Show and tell today, everyone! Ready?
Class: (shouts of “Ready!” “We sure are!” etc.)
Cinzano (from his bot corner): Video cued, Ms. B.
Ms. B: Who would like to begin? Okay, let’s see… Kaepernick, how about you?
Kaepernick (standing): My cousin Kalani works at the Earth Research Archive at the university. They brought home a copy of a short poem they found the other day. They said it was from Earth’s Early Pandemic Era and they thought it was powerful for meditating on.
Ms. B: I see. Is it happy powerful, embodied powerful, or sad powerful, Kaepernick? Or some other kind?
Kaepernick: Sad powerful. The title is “The Train of Grief.”
Class: (quiets down)
Ms. B: (sighing inwardly) An interesting choice. Go ahead, Kaepernick. Read it slowly, with feeling. When you are done, Cinzano will bang the gong softly to invite the bell, and we will have fifteen minutes of silent meditation until they bang the gong softly again. Then we will share some responses (sits at her desk).
Kaepernick: This is the poem (begins reading aloud as the class listens):
The Train of Grief
The next station stop is…
Watch the closing doors.
The train of grief is coming, I can hear its whistle blow
in the dark when I lie down to sleep.
The train of death is coming too,
clattering down the track
and on, and on.
Anyone the train of death leaves behind,
the train of grief is sure to find them and
there will be mourning.
The city, the city, the city will mourn.
The train of grief is coming soon.
(Everyone closes their eyes and begins to focus on their breathing. Cinzano pauses the video and bangs the gong softly. The classroom is silent.)
…to be continued