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Thursday, July 15, 2021


by Greer Gurland

Mike Hoffman, 27, was ejected from a Jeep and killed by a drunk driver in New Hampshire Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. Photo Credit: Facebook/Mike Hoffman —Middlesex Daily Voice, July 7, 2021.

When I woke today, someone had died.
A driver drunk. 
The car rolled over and the others are alive, 
but not the son of the gym teacher.
Mr, Hoffman.
Mr. Hoffman does not write poetry or songs
far as I know.
He’s not Shakespeare but who's to say 
who loved more? 
What will he do now? What will he do?
I know. Be still 
kinder to the children. 
He will eek it out, give more, and mark 
the joy in open eyes. The rain will cover 
the windows covered with metal bars
but not enough. 
So funny, but before that, during the night, 
I spoke of my parents 
in the past tense
as if to convince myself I will survive.

Author's Note: Mr. Hoffman is a teacher at my son’s new school which serves kids with special needs. Although I have yet to meet Mr. Hoffman, I can tell from the staff’s grief that Mr. Hoffman is beloved.

Greer Gurland is a graduate of Harvard College (‘91) where she was Managing Editor of The Harvard Advocate and lucky enough to study with Seamus Heaney. She recently returned to writing and earned her MFA. She has two chapbooks: It Just So Happens …Poems to Read Aloud (Finishing Line Press 2018) and In the crowded future (Finishing Line Press 2021). Most recently, Greer was a finalist for the Moon City Book Prize.