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Poetically Yours - On the way to school

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Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This segment features Paula Coulahan.

Coulahan is a Rockford Public Schools teacher. She wrote this poem last spring when school was closed due to the pandemic. It’s called “Kneel.”

What I see on the drive to school is

Kids waiting for the bus with their beautiful dark locks

Picked up high, against hatred

Kids who match their tights to their skirts

And kids who clash because they can

And because it just feels right

What I see on the drive to school is

Parents holding small hands, clasped in theirs

As they walk along in the silver sun or rain

Kids poised on their toes like dancers, to run across the street

Grandmas hovering because they can

And because it just feels right

What I see at the start of the day is

Kids saying the Pledge with their hands over their hearts

So much that they don’t know about the world yet

Kids of all shades, with big hearts, big eyes, and big dreams

I want to kneel, like Kaepernick, because they have faith

And because it just feels right

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.