Amanda, I failed you.
You weren’t the first
and you weren’t the worst.
There were others at the same time
but I was thinking of you today
more than twenty years after
and I hope I didn’t fuck things up
too much for you.
You were brilliant.
You were so capable
and in the hands of a capable teacher
what your fourth grade could have been
but I wasted your time.
I wasted everyone’s time
and probably the next year
you got the education you deserved
while the other kids continued to slide
into further anonymity
but you were an amazing student
with a fertile mind
who deserved more
than what I had to give then or even now.
I’m sure you did well enough eventually
despite my paltry skills
in your elementary school.
I wish I had been worthy
of being part of your narrative.
I hope all of your potential
has since been realized.