Upon Turning 50//Poem 2

Three sassy sixth grade girls

Tightened their hijabs and stormed into the library

At first

Unhappily and unwillingly forced

To spend time with me today

Six days before the last day

Of what has been an extraordinary school year.

The sum total of their ages

Two decades less the total of mine

The problems we discussed

Were not the math ones on their homework pages

Designed to raise their grades

Through the practice of fractions and multiplication

But books, boys, siblings, and stories

The things that bind us all.