I thought I was writing a poem in honor of the teacher who was arrested for speaking during a school board meeting. But, really, I wrote it for the girl who witnessed the teacher removed, accosted, and arrested for exercising her right to speak. What will she remember about that night? How will it shape who she becomes?

ROAR image


The tight-knit circle sits high on the dais and schemes

a fat pay raise for the leader, yarn connecting them green.

Teacher Deyshia stands and pulls at the thread, the knit/purl

pattern unraveling, her clarion call heard the world over.


Teacher of the Year poses a question the greenback circle

doesn’t mention. Thirty-eight thousand more a year, dollars ear-

marked for a magnate with rank-and-file salaries stagnant. Where

is the prize for those who cultivate fertile minds, who face kids

at desks for seven-hour stretches in rural Louisiana school-houses

resembling sewer plants? Brown-haired girl, you sit beside Ms.

Deyshia, your open gaze takes in the strong-arm man who shackles

the teacher and attempts to silence her for speaking what no one else


would: To you, I say, do not dismay. May you grow in strength

and stature. May the teacher bolster your resolve to stand

for truth. May her sacrifice make your world safer. May you tug

at threads of rotten fabric and let it disintegrate into the nothingness


that it is. May your voice roar.



About Sandra Sarr

I've written my first novel, The Road to Indigo, and am actively seeking an agent and publisher. I'm a 2013 graduate of the Master of Fine Arts Program with the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, Whidbey Writers Workshop.
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2 Responses to ROAR

  1. Ferdie Iseringhausen says:

    Re: Roar. Very telling. You really captured the forces at play in that room and the effects. Keep speaking truth to power, Sandy.


  2. Ardine Martinelli says:

    This is a powerful poem of truth-telling. Focusing on the young girl gives it even more power that she may see strength not fear. Thank you Sandy.


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