to my high school English teacher

blog - feringhettiDear Mrs. Gist,

I remember when you were my English teacher and encouraged me to read poetry. I remember you took me to a reading competition, and I read a poem by Ferlinghetti. I remember once you assigned us to give show and tells, and I showed how to make a Molotov cocktail, which was an intentionally provocative choice on my part — and you jumped up from your seat in alarm. I was a depressed and angry teenager, but I remember you always treated me with respect. I don’t know if you remember me, but I wanted to say thank you.

Alison Clement

ps I’m a novelist now, and I teach writing at a community college. No one has ever demonstrated the manufacture of a Molotov cocktail in my classroom, thankfully.

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