Category Archives: PN1010 – Poetry

Today a Young Man Came to School…

Today a young man came to school.

No big deal…
That happens every day…
That’s where he should be…
…you say.

…is not an average kid
…has behavior issues
…is average. If average is high-risk.

Okay, and?
…you ask (shrugging your shoulders).

Today a young man came to school
and he inspired me.

He came in…
…visibly upset
…completely out of dress code
…and after walking maybe 3 miles toward

Nashville and turning around
and coming to school.
Not home, to school.
Where he felt safe.
An alternative program
where he had been for about 3 weeks

I spoke to him as he came to my class.
Asking if he…
…was alright
…was going to be able to work
…would be any trouble

His voice – it broke as he responded.
And my heart – it broke as I listened.

You could hear…
…the pain…
…the desperation…
…the loss…
…in his voice.

He looked like a cornered animal.
He reacted like an abused dog to attention.

I told him…
…he made a good choice coming to school
(not the myriad other choices he could have made)
…some days we must focus on the small, minute-to-minute decisions
(not the big decisions)
…some days we rejoice at getting through it step-by-step
…that I enjoyed having him in class because he works hard
…I was proud of him for making the right decisions this day
…I had faith in him and knew he could keep it up

He came in and worked hard
At the end of the day he left…
…with a smile
…shaking hands with teachers

I hope he returns tomorrow. He said he’s moving to Nashville.
I never tell my students I’ll miss them…
…but I do.

Today a young man came to school…
…he didn’t have to, but he did
…and he inspired me
…and he taught me


A Poem my Father Wrote

My father wrote this poem many years ago. It won 2nd place in a nationwide contest sponsored by Parade Magazine in 1993 as I recall. I hope you like it as much as I do. My father passed away two weeks ago on August 1st, 2014.


Tomorrow, my tomorrow
whatever will you bring.
A broken heart to cry o’er
or perhaps a song to sing.
Will you hurt me then desert me
and leave my soul to ache
or will you love me lightly
and a lifetime for me make.
Tomorrow, my tomorrow
love me lightly
please I plea,
For I have cried o’er all
the yesterdays
that were ever meant to be.

Tom A. Turner
Aug 24, 1942 – Aug 1, 2014
Poet, artist, woodworker, father, husband

Dad - 03 - 060213