Saying goodbye
to my class each year
is a kind of grief

We grow so close
and as the year comes
to a close
we get closer still

And some years
like this year
there’s a magic
in the air
the final week
when tests are finished
report cards entered
and we can taste the summer

When we relish
each other more
and know what we have
is unique
this togetherness
yet celebrating
each other’s uniqueness

And in the midst
of anticipating summer
we are grieving the loss
of something
that comes but once
in our lifetime

This time
as a community
that will end soon
too soon

Why is it so hard
to say goodbye?

This year was our first
at normalcy
after a pandemic
and after a huge
community-wide fire
and after the loss
of my mom two years ago
and my grandma one year ago

and individually
we have known pain
and loss

And this year was a time
of healing
and growth
and rebirth

And individually

This year
I became a published poet
and my class cheered me on
and became poets
alongside me

This year
we spent time together
with lunch on the
picnic tables
with fourth first
then fifth joining in
to reminisce

We read together
and let our hearts be tugged
and cried
and laughed
and grew
We wrote together
of our thoughts
and dreams
and wonderings

We learned together
about fractions
and pioneers
about magnets and electricity
about persisting
and awe and wonderment
about forgiveness
and kindness

This year had its
they all do
but in the end
what we came to
was truly magical

We bonded
in this growth
and the growth was
and powerful
and rejuvenating

We saw it in each other
and nurtured it
and grew together
as each one spread
our wings

And in the final hour
of our togetherness
we danced and sang
and laughed
and cried
We hugged each other
not wanting the magic
to end

Looking each other in the eye
and boldly proclaiming
I love you

And then
we stepped into summer
for having been