Poem for Ms. Frizzle
How could one not love the driver
of a magical bus? A bus that shrinks and spins
with the push of some buttons, the bus always—
and this is important—driven by lesbians:
Lily Tomlin, Kate McKinnon, how love
for the universe somehow equates
with love for the feminine, the scientific method
a blanket braided with love for the classroom
that is the world, the world as forest and ocean and ears,
stars and satellites in orbit, the lungs,
blood cells, stomach—you can travel
anywhere any time, hear a tyrannosaurus,
watch glaciers form, be light.
Ms. Frizzle, Ms. Frizzle.
You know everyone. It’s the joke. Everyone’s
your friend, but we know so little about you.
Your companion, a green lizard.
And now in 2019, there are two Frizzes:
Professor, a Ph.D., and an elementary school teacher
in a building with almost no other students.
Ms. Frizzle, and maybe I am talking
to McKinnon now, I think I love you. Could
love you. I know it’s silly, you’re a cartoon, maybe
I just wish to hover above a sound wave,
a lunar crater, a rainforest. Maybe I wish my limbs
would convert into wind-blown seeds,
or I could see through a hawk’s eyes. You can tell me
everything you know about igneous rock,
the Greenhouse Effect on Venus, the impact
of the worldwide web on all of us. Say we can explore
and connect with those we don’t know
like never before. Say it while some revelatory
soundtrack plays as you float in your space suit
with a student above the Pacific. How beautiful
your belief becomes there, and all that feeling in
your own heart: a flower, a garden, an ocean, an orchard.
Maggie Graber is a queer poet from the Midwest. Her poems have appeared in The Louisville Review, BOAAT, Southern Indiana Review, Hobart, RHINO, The Adroit Journal, Yemassee, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR), and a recipient of awards and residencies from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Monson Arts, Sundress Academy for the Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Denali National Park. Maggie lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she’s a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Mississippi. Find her online at www.maggiegraber.com.