My poem, “A Note” published in Boston Literary Magazine

“A Note” concerns the loss of Rob Isaacson, a fellow teacher at Central Bucks West High School, Doylestown, PA a number of years ago.  Rob taught me that being unconventional in the classroom was an asset, not a liability.  Rob will be forever remembered for his irreverent methods of teaching, his humor, his wacky Halloween costumes, and most of all, his friendship.

A Note
Marie Kane
The black scrawl
on the scrap
of paper’s
thin, blue lines
was familiar—
(the ampersand a cross,
the dot over the i a slash,
the T slanted)—
your fingers had
touched this paper.
It was April when you died.
You were on the phone,
(who were you talking to?)
the black cord stretching,
the conversation ending
with you on the floor,
your hair still damp
from a recent swim.
What did you think
when your breath
hurt to take it?
When that Herculean
heart of yours stopped?
You—who advised me to tell
almost all the truth, to not
soften the rage,
to desire the intangible.
What did you think when
the thought of not doing
was unthinkable?
When the foremost thought
on your mind was “No”?
How did you step away
from that brief glance
out the window of daffodils,
and their yellow?

Marie Kane

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3 Responses to My poem, “A Note” published in Boston Literary Magazine

  1. mariered says:

    HI Valerie,
    I began a West in 1989, so I don’t think we ever met. Yes–Rob was a super guy. A good friend.
    My son loved him when he was his student; Rob taught me so much about being a more relaxed teacher. He and I often sparred over meanings of poems. He passed away in 2003. He was enjoying a sabbatical for a year and had just come home from a swim at the Y and had a massive heart attack. He WAS on the phone. Found out that he had a congenital heart condition; that’s why he exercised often–and hard. It did not keep him alive–but perhaps gave him more years than he would have had.

    His service was lovely, but I don’t remember if any donations were mentioned. You might want to try the English Dept at West. I think there still is a memorial scholarship given to a graduate in his name. Maybe you could donate to that. I retired in 2007; I do not know the name of the new department chairperson for you to contact.

    Thank you for writing and reminding me about Rob. I was thrilled when the Boston Literary Journal
    accepted the poem for publication.

    How did you find my web site and the poem?

    Let me know if you find out anything about donations,


    • Valerie Berv says:

      I Was trying to reconnect with Rob and your name came up. I am so sorry,where was the service maybe they have contacts for donations in his memory. Thank you so much for responding to me so quickly. Your poems are wonderful. Valerie

  2. Valerie says:

    Dear Marie,
    I used to work at CBW in the 80’s as a consultant and new Rob Isaacson well. I am so terribly shocked and saddened to hear about his death. I fondly remember dressing up with him on Halloween and roaming the halls at CBW. Would you kindly contact me with information regarding his illness and where I can make a donation? Sincerely yours, Valerie

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