News/NEA / Tales Out of School

News/NEA / Tales Out of School

I was a member of NEA all my teaching years, for the shared knowledge and the professional support. One year two of my colleagues came to inform me, after they had fixed the problem, that paperwork had gotten mixed up . . . In a whistling past the graveyard mood, I wrote this poem.


News of My Death

by Mary F. Garrett

The National Education Association has declared me dead,
And Jim Garrett has been a dues-paying member all year.
My friends inform me after they have corrected the records.

I feel an eerie shiver, but mostly I remember Jim,
A friend and advocate for his deaf students;  
He taught my students to sign in his “free” time.

We were friendly, but not close, 
Although students were positive, because of our names,
That we were married.  
In fact, they said we were “a very nice couple.”
We agreed that at least we fought less 
Than any married couple we knew.

Our mail always ended up in each other’s mailboxes, 
In spite of my efforts to clearly label and personalize them.
I once received his health insurance claim with one of mine,
My first clue, though I didn’t try to read it,
Of the illness that would destroy him.

It seems fitting that his death
Should find a way to come to me,
Consistent avoider of funerals caught at last.

I decide I’d better tell my mother,
In case official word is sent to next-of-kin.
I joke that if anyone complains about a boring class,
I can tell them it’s the best they can expect
From a dead person.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good11084301_10152820080385028_48227205056877781_n

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Liz Brownlee
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 17:08:52

    Mary, i really enjoyed your poem and the story it carried, lovely humour! ~Liz


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