For My Students

Steve Edwards

Some days I look past you

right out the window.

Clouds hang

on the hillside. Rain-dark

trees. The birds there

know more poetry than I do.

They don’t waste breath

talking; they sing. Sometimes

when your mouths move—

I’m sorry—it’s a robin

I hear. The one building its nest,

of feathers and sticks, blue

egg like a sky to mother

until it cracks. Let me tell you:

birds don’t fly—they master

falling. Let me tell you:

if I had the words

to lift you out of your pain

for even a moment

I would. I’d drop you, too.


Steve Edwards teaches at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. His writing can be found in Longreads, Literary Hub, Orion Magazine, The Rumpus, Electric Literature and elsewhere.