Along with our State senator and delegate and representatives from our two Federal senators, I was a speaker at the first "Drug Court" Graduation on October 10, held at the Giles County Courthouse.
My brief talk follows.
How wonderful and encouraging and terrifying that you have so many people who believe in you, who are looking out for you. Today brings that faith and hope, your bravery and endurance all together.
Judge Harrell asked that I find a poem to read for you today. I looked at a lot of poems and finally chose this one by Brad Aaron Modlin:
What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade
Mrs. Nelson explained how to stand still and listen
to the wind, how to find meaning in pumping gas,
how peeling potatoes can be a form of prayer. She took
questions on how not to feel lost in the dark.
After lunch she distributed worksheets
that covered ways to remember your grandfather’s
voice. Then the class discussed falling asleep
without feeling you had forgotten to do something else—
something important—and how to believe
the house you wake in is your home. This prompted
Mrs. Nelson to draw a chalkboard diagram detailing
how to chant the Psalms during cigarette breaks,
and how not to squirm for sound when your own thoughts
are all you hear; also, that you have enough.
The English lesson was that I am
is a complete sentence.
And just before the afternoon bell, she made the math equation
look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions,
and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking
for whatever it was you lost, and one person
add up to something.
Cody and James, there is so much faith in you in this room. Which won’t amount to anything if you don’t have faith in yourselves. Remember that everything adds up to something and that “I am” is a complete sentence.