List our differences and pray to God

Down to earth Birks and neon Converse hightops, Doc
Martins, black chinese slippers, Hitecs, Reebok
pumps, Russian cloth shoes, L. L. Bean duck boots and
high heels, fill the front hall closet floor -
   scuffed, polished, torn, spiffy
   jumbled in a pile

Time to sort them out.
Graduation's coming on and we must each reach deeply
into untidy tangles to
   retrieve our separate lives.

Radio station tapes and records, Mucky Pup, the
Beatles, Madonna, rock, rap and hardcore. The Mighty
Mighty Bosstones, classic jazz and folk, Simon, They
Might Be Giants, Cat Stevens, Kate Bush, Holly Near,
the Dead. One by one we played them on the shows we
DJed as listeners fought over whether to turn them off
or turn them up.

Time to take them back, pack up, go home, listen alone.
Simpler by far than these back and forth agreements
and upsets over hearing each other's music.

Mohawk, shaved bald, tiny braids, tidy locks, dreads.
We put our heads together to work things out. Meetings
for community, for faculty, for house chores, for
discipline.  But not always a meeting of the minds.

Each person here is different from every other, head to foot.
And yet we also shape each other's lives.
Sit in silence, close our eyes and sense a deeper unity,
listen to each other's needs and feelings, give up
uniqueness to become a member of this larger group.

So when we leave each other, we don't go as Kate alone,
or Alex, Jon, Martin, Megan, Dave. In our bones and
brains there will remain a structure which we built
together at this place and in this year.

Hear then my prayer, Dear God
That as we walk forth today
May what we've learned to be here
Serve to bring your grace
to other places on our way.

Kate Kerman
May 31st 1992
for The Meeting School graduation ceremony

back to Kate's page