Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Saturday, February 21, 2015

To Be A Yankee

I was once told that to be
a Yankee was to have at
least two broken, major
household appliances on
your porch.  The man was
the new superintendent of
schools brought in from
otta state to get some
new blood, doncha know,
and he was reading from
a mimeographed sheet.
All in the room were
teachers at the beginning
of a new year and we laughed
politely, but all thought
this guy was just the south end
of a north bound cow.  
All of us that is except Miss
Lee who all but prayed:
Give me two more years and
I’ll just dismiss my tenant
farmer up north and sit on
my own front porch with
my same-sex partner of a lifetime
who endured with me in secret
all these hellish years. 
We will just sit and look out at the
at the field - look out  as nature
slowly but surely, day by glorious
day, retakes the field.

FG  2/21/2015

Marjorie Lee taught English at Meredith High School for, I’m guessing, three decades.  She was a great teacher and a Yankee through and through.  I think she was well past retirement age when I knew her and probably had been grand-mothered in by the district.  She was my “Master” teacher for my first three months of teaching, but just about the only thing she ever confided in me on a professional or personal basis was when she said, “I have to take care of myself.”   This, I think is the mantra for public school teachers to survive in the politically charged school atmosphere.   She was a Yankee.

I have no idea of her sexual orientation, nor do I mean to speak ill of her (I’m again guessing that she would be 100 or so by now), but the idea of appliances on the porch and worn out teachers suggested this poem.

We had a thunderstorm here yesterday which seems too early as the rainy season usually starts in May.  The climes they are a changin’, I guess.


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