For my English classroom aides:
When the only way to teach parts of the body is through lively song and dance,
I love you for making a fool of yourself.
When the continuous-action-past-participle-twice-removed makes no sense to you,
I love you for faking it.
When the student needs yet another explanation of the word “jump,”
I love you for your fourteenth time in the air.
For my mentors:
When the only word you know is “Jambo” and the only word they know is “Hello,”
I love you for your awkward silences.
When the seventeenth relative walks through the door,
I love you for learning yet another name.
When the curried dal is as spicy as the fire of a billion suns,
I love you for your second bite.
For all my volunteers, in their many, varied roles:
When your arms are tired from lifting your end of the couch,
When your fingers are tired from tying another knot on another fleece blanket,
And you’d like to gag yourself if you have to sort another spoon,
When you feel helpless to help
And less like a hero than yesterday
And long for the comfort of your comfort zone . . .
I love you, on Valentine’s Day and always, for volunteering anyway.
Amy S.Z., Your Coordinator