Sits proud, a smile on his face, they are reading his poem, inside it feels good, to be acknowledged, and told you are good, he bites his lip as the praise comes, it’s the stuff he needs to hear at home, but school will do, his teacher is generous in heart, has empathy for her charges, does whatever she can, likes to laugh. The school bell goes, he puts his books into his satchel, teacher smiles as he goes out the door, well done young man. His father has no time for education, is always complaining, put down by his own father, he is passing on the lessons learned to his son, that’s the way it goes, thank God for great school teachers.
On the walk home, he swings his bag, stares at the trees, birds live in them, there is a cow in the field, moo he says, the cow shakes his head. The need for expression, and the fear in being vulnerable, the minute he gets in the door, he wonders if she will be drinking, the dread, her insults will pass over him like water in a stream, his mind and emotions set on that moment in class, the admiring looks of his fellow pupils and teachers.
Solomon sighed, how a little encouragement works the oracle, amen. Best of all.