Thursday, February 6, 2014

Our Principal

beat his wife.
We did not know it then.
We knew his slant-stripe
We said "Good morning"
in our cleanest voices.
He stood beside the door
of the office
where all the unborn
report cards lived.
He had twins
and reddish hair.
Later the news
would seep
along the gutters,
chilly stream
of autumn rain.
My mother,
newspaper dropped down
on the couch, staring
out the window -
All those years I told you
pay good attention to 
what he says. 

By Naomi Shihab Nye

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