she knows them all

Can you believe it? She knows them all.

All of what, you ask.

All of her school teachers, I reply.

Me – I remember the most important ones.

But not my mother – she remembers them all.

And she reels off the names.

They flow with little hesitation from her brain and mouth:

Hattie Earl and Tessie Stanton and Rita Galloway.

Then came Gladys Lucas and Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Bethea.

They were followed by Ethel Lee.

By the time she reached high school, she talks about one teacher –

Elizabeth Covington, whom she adored,

Miss Covington  taught Latin and life lessons with equal abandon.

And she taught my mother to love education and respect

Those who taught it to others.

Eventually she followed in their footsteps, teaching students

Who still remember her name and lessons.

— Jenny Munro