Juanita Rossiter

Shades of Brown

A sea of white shirts and blouses,
I searched for one not pressed.
Short hair, buzz cuts, pig tails, and pony tails,
I simply smiled as I was constantly accessed.

Lined in neat rows with forty to a room,
I desperately tried to catch a glance.
Silent, shy, awkward, and embarrassed,
a few brave souls permitted me the chance.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months,
I was no longer a “first year.”
Friendly, genki, cute, and tolerant,
my students had suddenly become very dear.

Although conformity remained a constant,
I began to see them with new eyes.
Each had a club, a crush, and a dream
and each had a distinctive shade of brown eyes.

Eyes are the mirror to one soul,
I remember my grandmother said.
Gentle, brilliant, kind, and unique,
new images replaced old ones in my head.

Leaving this time and this place,
I feel I have learned more than I taught.
My students are the reason I came,
I am indebted to them for granting me the experience I sought.

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