your name.
leave it to
8-year-olds to unintentionally
prompt further healing...

I have 2 students with your name
in my class this year.

initial defiant and
attention-seeking behaviour
from one of them,
has now turned into fondness
after she has been met
time and time again
with fairness and care
in my classroom.

I started shortening her name to
and found myself frozen the other day -
standing in front of my class,
mid-sentence -
as I realised that this utterance
hadn't caused me pain.
that I've been uttering YOUR name
through laughter,
and celebration
as the school year marches on.

your name,
tied to faces that
are not yours.

and I'm glad.

I'm glad I don't see you
in their small faces.
the relieved teacher in me,
who cares deeply about
the wellbeing of their students,
heavily outweighs
the grieving friend in me,
afraid of speaking ill
of the dead.

there will never be another 'you,'
But that doesn't mean
there won't be other 'Em's.

not every Em story
must end in heartbreak.
© O.M.A

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