I just found this thank-you sonnet I wrote in 2003 for Ali. Maybe it was in exchange for a college recommendation, maybe it was a poetry assignment from Karina Reyes, or maybe it was a simple thank-you. It's sloppy, naturally, but I'd forgotten the gratitude I had for her teaching. Some honesty from an otherwise angsty JDHS senior.
Rest in peace, Mrs. McKenna.
A Sonnet for Ali McKenna – 4/30/03
Michael James, Senior Year, JDHS
She made us read two books in summer sun:
A first impression ‘scribed to me in full!
I did not think I’d like this English Hun;
All literature to me was damn near dull.
Ali McKenna splayed her liter’ry sword
With Steinbeck, Burroughs, Keroac, Thoreau,
With Love, and all Sarcasm she could afford,
And slayed us! Oh! The joys we came to know!
A guiding hand, a watchful wond’ring eye,
A calm and thoughtful spirit ope’d my brain.
Her honesty, perception, all defy
The duties of a teacher not insane.
The Universe is smiling at my friend;
It knows that she’ll be Teaching ‘til her end.