I once had a student
who was old enough to be my father.
He’d just broken free from
decades at a bank.
Upper management-you see
So talking about that past life
He told me that he decided
to learn more English
when he was walking the Camino de Santiago.
It would have been easier
to speak to the other pilgrims
He was the kind of pilgrim that
gave up beer and gummy bears for Lent,
but not hot coffee—that he drank everyday
I miss the gummy bears the most, he said.
In class we’d read and speak,
do grammar exercises.
Good job, I’d tell him
when he answered correctly.
Very good job, he’d always reply.
Yes, you’re right, I’d chuckle and draw a star on the board.
He never let me forget to draw a star.
One day, he flipped through his smart phone
and showed me a picture
of his suits and ties in a pile
I gave them to charity, he said proudly.
Freedom was plastered all over his face.
About the Author
Brittney is an American expat living in Europe. In addition to being a poet and artist, she's an English language instructor. Ever since she was a child, she's had a love for travel and learning about new cultures. She's also passionate about encouraging others and listening to their stories. Most of her poetry is inspired by her personal journey with identity, the definition of home, and other observations and reflections regarding the human condition.