Smile And Stand Tall: A Poem For The HBW Class Of 2019

By on June 20, 2019

Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash

You started out in fifth grade.
You came through our doors a child.
Running around at recess
Carefree, breathless, wild.

You were small but you were growing
With baby teeth you’d yet to lose.
Life seemed much simpler then.
There was so much less to choose.

You were innocent and silly
With the exuberance of youth.
You loved your friends and teachers.
Our fond memories are the proof.

We watched you grow. We saw you change
You seemed to need us less and less.
You were slipping from our grasp
Though we knew that it was best.

When you were small we had the answers.
The questions seemed so easy then.
But how do we explain the tough stuff?
Like heartbreak, loss and friends?

In truth it wasn’t easy.
All the projects and the tests
The late nights, the teenage fights
There was drama. There was stress.

Did we push you too hard sometimes
Because we believed that you could do it?
But when you learned and earned that grade
We were proud to lead you to it.

And though we are smiling on the outside
On the inside there are tears.
Your principals, teachers, and family
Have cherished you these years.

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You leave here a young adult
You’re no longer just a kid.
And there is no way we could be prouder
Of all the great things you did.

You’re a leader and an actor
Athlete, musician, friend
Techie, writer, artist
The list goes on without an end.

And if this all seems rather sappy
Or “cringey” as you teens say
That’s life! We must mark this moment
Because this is a very special day.

A little advice for your future
As you journey down the road.
Be kind. Be strong. Be honest.
Be humble but be bold.

Take a chance. Have an adventure.
Do what makes your heart sing.
Know that success and failure
Are both temporary things.

No one is your better
And no one is worth less.
You’ll win. You’ll lose. You’ll struggle.
Just always do your best

Each of you has a gift
And problems to be faced.
Find your passion and pursue it
Make the world a better place.

You started out in fifth grade
So precious and so small
You grew, you learned, you did it
So now smile and stand tall!

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Jennifer Kleinknecht has been the media specialist at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School since 2007. She writes about life as a school librarian on her blog, “The ‘Yes’ Librarian”. (Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash)

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