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The Dedicated Teacher

by Jamie Hettema, 2024

I found a little garden in a corner of my mind

It was full of tiny flowers of every imaginable kind

I noticed little buttercups so fragile on the ground

And busy water lilies floated all around

Bold sunflowers seemed to grow straight up to the sky

While carefree, happy daisies were just a little shy

Thorny, velvet roses didn’t let me get too close

And silly, yellow daffodils made me laugh the most

I wondered to myself, “Who cares for these so dearly?”

Then I saw the gardeners so diligent but cheery

They worked all day nurturing their tiny baby plants

They watered, trimmed and chased away annoying little ants

Carefully they pulled the weeds that might harm their precious buds

Never noticing the prickly thorns, the insects or the mud

Then one day, much to all the gardeners dismay

There wasn’t any water and the soil had turned to clay

The gardeners watched helplessly as their little flowers fell

”Can’t someone help us?” “Who can we tell?”

Our daffodils and roses will never be what they could be

And our daisies and our buttercups might even die you see

But no one came with water and no one seemed to care

No one had the answer, it was almost too much to bear

Then I saw a teardrop fall from one of the gardener’s eyes

It splashed upon a tender buttercup just about to die

And the fragile little buttercup who drooped so very small

Began to stand up strong and beautiful and tall

I noticed all the gardeners had teardrops on their cheeks

And it began to look as if it had rained for weeks

Every daffodil and Daisy, every rose and buttercup

Every sunflower and lily started perking up

Soon the entire garden was glistening in the sun

And I began to realize the battle had been won

Was this what tears of anger and despair and fear could do?

Could this really happen?  Could all of this be true?

Then I saw the joy on every gardener’s face

These were tears of love, of fear there was no trace

For when it was quite certain the gardeners should do no more

That’s when they so unselfishly gave more and more and more

The gift they gave was precious, one money could not buy

They gave so their little flowers could live and grow and thrive

Though they’ll receive no glory for all that they have done

All that really mattered was that they’d saved every one