Slice of Life: Holding On

In thirteen years, things accumulate.
Things that sit on a shelf in a cupboard.
Things you don’t pay attention to
they just live there.

After thirteen years, things that were important aren’t
and garbage bags fill.
Five cabinets, cleared.
One to go.

In thirteen years, student writing accumulates.
They sit in books
on that last shelf.
Ready for that plastic bag.

After all those years, I opened one.
When I did it
with each one
I remembered that kid.

He’s finished high school
she’s started college
But that writing is the writer I knew
It’s important so I hold on.

That plastic bag got pushed aside.

I packed up those writers
and moved them
with me
across campus
to my new home.


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here.




19 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Holding On

  1. A piece of writing holds more than just the text written, it holds the memories of the writer. Many papers become meaningless after some time, these can be recycled, others become even more valuable because they carry history of you as a teacher. I hope this change of grade and classroom is good for you.

  2. The structure of this post is inviting to us as we stand with you cleaning out the cabinets. It’s so hard to let go of memories and those little pieces of who a student once was. Good luck as you continue to pack and move to your new space.

  3. I really love this slice, “after all those years I opened one.” Glad you didn’t purge everything and are going to let their writing keep living on the shelf.

  4. Some things are easy to drop into that bag and some things are attached to your heart. Loved the way you told this. (BTW, I will be in CA in ten days, perhaps we can meet up)

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