in Memory of Father Carlton Paul Brick, S.D.S. (1935-2013)
I’m here to place a rose in this room
where he taught my sophomore English class.
I want to leave a tiny flower with a mighty beauty
to honor a teacher who never threatened us, never
got in our faces but did get in our hearts. He taught us
the tragic soul of Death of a Salesman, introduced
us to Laura in The Glass Menagerie, to Holden
in Catcher in the Rye, and opened the door to poetry
in all its splendor and truth. And we learned
how to write because of all his hours of giving
our words on loose leaf his scholarly attention.
He didn’t yell, he didn’t insult us, he was demanding
but never demeaning and he never let the specter
of the S.A.T. get in the way of authentic learning.
So I’ve come to this room 50 years later to thank
with a flower the soft spoken priest who asked
almost as much of us as he did of himself and
gave me the model of English teaching excellence
I could only strive for but never attain.
I leave a rose here in memory of Father Carlton,
who stirred in me a passion for literature and writing,
who every day in this classroom quietly changed my life.
© by Edwin Romond.
Used with the author's permission.