She, too, was a teacher,
called a “Preceptorous.”
Old pictures show a dark-haired beauty,
With a look of firm persuasion.
Later, my grandmother with hair of silver-gray,
Kindly doting with a soft firm hand,
And, fresh-baked cookie aroma,
spilt around the room.
Embroidered linen on the old, polished tea cart.
Aesthetics for the tea ceremony.
The artisan’s glory.
I sense no rowdy behavior permitted,
here in the classroom.
Teaching back then the Missouri Compromise,
and averting civil war between the states,
for a time.
Unsaid how her parents were taken up,
in the later conflicts,
And, damage to the state, and old souls.
Hot tea gave the civilized picture,
While intellectuals grappled with
numbering the wars.
Francis Conlon is a retired and recovering teacher. For the past 20 years, he has worked as a seasonal river ranger and boat inspector at Yampa River State Park in northwest Colorado. He has published in the local Valley Voice and in Westward Quarterly. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.