Keep Loving

Last week during one of my Structured Support classes, I was helping a grade twelve student analyze a poem. Together, we read the poem assigned by his English Language Arts teacher.

“Wow that’s a powerful poem.”

“I don’t understand poetry.” My grade twelve student said, pushing away from from the table.

Stoic. “It’s about finding abusive love beautiful.”

“That’s just messed.”

“Or maybe it’s really brave.” The room paused. Those moments when the florescent lights stop humming. And everyone pauses….

“It is. I have a student in my writing group who just submitted a poem for publication. The poem is about missing being in an abusive relationship. I thought her piece is one of the most honest sharings about love. Sure, perhaps a distorted sense of love, but a kind of love.”

“F**^* that’s messed up.” The grade 12 said, fidgeting.

Across from me, a grade nine boy leaned back to balance on the back two legs of his chair, adding, “Like, how would you even love a girl like that?”

“I imagine, trust would be hard for her.”

The grade nine leaned back further. Lifted his arms up behind his head and then as moments often do if you let then, our world stopped. “You’d have to keep loving her. And just not stop.”


Twelve boys, grades nine through twelve had stopped breathing. There was deep wisdom then. Teachings. They understood this. A glimmer of something perhaps beyond them, until just then.

“Well, it would be hard. And you couldn’t give up. You’d have to love her until she learned a different love. The other kind. Because that’s love. To love a woman like that. Yeah. Shit. It would be hard. But that’s love.”

To love different. ~That is love.

A grade nine teaching

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