First Year ESL Paraprofessional

First Year ESL Paraprofessional

By: John Homan

I can’t soothe the hurt I see in them…I wish I could.
Their actions under the circumstances impress me.
At their age, I was an utter emotional mess.
It says so in the Snoopy diary with the broken lock
stored in my footlocker in the basement.  

Theirs seems a dark lonely world, 
a damp cold wind chilling their emotions
remains their lives’ dominant weather pattern. 
Permafrost will set in sooner than later.

I tell myself it’s naive to think a difference can be made.
One person is not a sun to a frozen wasteland.
I should harden my heart before it continues to be broken.
It’s not my job to save the world. 

But just doing my job was a waste of twenty years of my life. 
Credit memos, email chains & ship scheduling meetings, 
Swirl around the drain of a life of loyalty to a corporation. 
The Invisible Hand doesn’t seem to love those outside of business. 

Even if actions are without visible success,
Accomplishment not so easily definable,
Caring dumped into the sea of apathy,
I will not despise “the day of small things”.

John Homan is a poet and percussionist from Bend, Oregon. He is a graduate of Indiana University. His work has appeared in Chiron Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Misfit Magazine among others. He is an ESL tutor in a middle school, happy to have given up 20 years of corporate customer service. He lives in Elkhart, Indiana with his wife and cats…lots of cats. 

You can find John @john_homan on Twitter and at his personal website:

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