New Folsom Graduation

The vice principal asked me to write a poem again this year for graduation ceremony. The theme being “Change“. Graduation day, New Folsom, 2011, like education and art programs everywhere in the USA have been cut in most communities.
For the past six years, I have been asked to read a poem at the graduation ceremony, and each graduation class has gotten smaller each year, going from a river to a drying stream in the desert.  This year only four students received their General Education Development (GED) and one a high school diploma. There were a few certificates of completion in the remaining trade, office services here at New Folsom.
Still the graduation ceremony itself was real, and some prisoners' families were there and showed their appreciation for their loved ones' accomplishments. I enjoyed the realness and joy of the graduates and their families who came to the visiting room for the graduation. It was an honour to read my new poem “Change” I wrote for the ceremony.


Sometimes we must fail
To rise, sink to swim –
Sometimes we must be ugly
To be beautiful

The goslings fell and fell
Their first second and third
Attempt at flying

But they kept getting up
Running and dancing
Backwards and forwards
Lifting and flapping
Higher with each attempt

Sometimes we must lay
Down our pride
Like a sword
And bare our souls and hearts

Sometimes we must anchor
Ourselves in pain
To lift the veils of change

For change can come
Like a twister
Or grow steady like a tree
Sometimes we must fail, we must let go
To grow…and

One never fails when one
dares to change
One never fails when one
dares to fail

© Spoon Jackson 6 april 2011

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