I was a very average student. It was hard for me to sit still. My gym teacher understood: my mind, like my feet, wanted to wander.
I graduated from college, and I became a banker. I knew something was wrong when I started picking flowers on my way to work.
So like St. Francis of Assisi, I quit the world of commerce, studied theology, and became a youth minister. I knew something was wrong when I started skipping the church services to play with the kids who themselves couldn't sit through the services!
When I launched a tutoring program to connect inner city and suburban kids, I saw that education was at the heart of my ministry, and I became a high school English teacher.
There, in the classroom, I discovered the power of poetry. I studied Shakespeare, Whitman, and Dickinson with my students, and I started writing poems of my own.
But I knew something was wrong again: poetry wanted to come off the page! It wanted to come to life, so I started acting out poems with my students.
And a funny thing happened. I got so good at making a spectacle of poetry (and myself) that people started calling me to perform poetry at schools, festivals, parties, weddings, and award ceremonies.
And I have never stopped. For twenty years now I have made a life of performing and teaching poetry. I've discovered that everyone, from children to adults, responds to some kind of poetry.
We may not all be poets, but everyone has poetry.