Mentor Song

By Ted Strauss

Wild dogs are sick
the bloody snow
they’re trailing you
like a band of thieves
who have found their priest
who will set them free
sing their eulogy
you will laugh for them

Your class is late
they hobble in
half-frozen faces
restless as the nights
that surround them
you bid them speak
and clear a space
for their brightening

A leather round
and hot glue gun
brought to bear
on a young boy’s palm
is emboldening
as a reprimand
from his own red hand
his confounded face
turns to the craft he made
he hears his voice

The sound of that voice
echoes down the street
marking wall and door
with graffiti
when people see
the message written there
some are happy
some get uppity

The city sleeps
you’re driving back
two hours of prep left
before the morning class
it’s in a heaping mess
you climb the stair
take a breath of air
you say “ha!” to the room


Ted Strauss grew up in Winnipeg, one of the coldest places in the world.  His writing is often accompanied by music. He’s in the Psychology Department at the NSSR.  Ted is based in Brooklyn, and basted in bourbon.