I wanted to share the exciting news that my friend and colleague Robert Fillman has a poem in the journal Canary: A Literary Journal Of The Environmental Crisis.
The link is here: Canary A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis
The Science Teacher
by Robert Fillman
Robert lives in the Lehigh River Watershed in eastern Pennsylvania.
When old Mrs. Helmut got sick
Miss Carson was her substitute.
She was young, straight out of college,
voice as soft as the knee-high grass
in the fields behind the playground.
She taught us about recycling,
how to conserve more energy
by swapping incandescent bulbs,
hanging our wet clothes on the line,
unplugging old appliances.
She asked us if we had ever
heated water with a peanut,
forced our nine-year-old minds to think
beyond broken chalk and blackboards.
We made compost in the courtyard
out of our leftovers from lunch,
went on field trips to Cedar Creek,
gathered specimens to study.
She took us to the water works
where we watched sewage get filtered
into vats and sent to landfills.
My dad called her a tree hugger.
My mom thought she was too involved,
too motivated, much too bold
for her own good. Both couldn’t wait
for Mrs. Helmut to return,
for the leaves of enlightenment
to fall. The last time I saw her
she was staring out the window
of our fourth-grade classroom, singing
to herself while she watched a group
of sparrows and nuthatches peck
at the sunflower seed feeders
we made for her going away.
© Robert Fillman
Congratulations to Robert Fillman on his publication!