Do you think of kudzu? That mysterious green carpet that covers the bony-armed trees that leaves you with questions that can’t be answered; or that on a summer day beckons “come and play” like a child’s blanket tent spread from house to tree, but no one comes.

I think of kudzu in fall, when the same trees are decked with a dry, rotting coat that allows the icy wind to rustle through the skeleton limbs like parchment. A corpse could lie in state in the center of a mess of kudzu from August until December and be found by a poacher who stops in curiosity to check the white bones, then runs away, leaving the cold bones to molder another year or longer, until they become a part of the woods forever.

I’m only kidding! I could never write a horror novel, but ...

POTPOURRI

Happy birthday to Paw Paw Bud Goss (it was Aug. 13) from his daughters, Kim, Lori and Tara. Logan Murphy, Linda Dunn, Jaurus Rawls, Justin Murphree — happy birthday to you all, too!

School bells are sounding all over the world. From the hallowed halls of the highest college classrooms to the brightly decorated kindergarten room of Mrs. Allie Sweeten Barron. Once upon a hot, September day, I was a teacher — 33 years, I was a teacher:

Every day for many years I took youthful hands, and led them to bright new lands.

Every day I watched them grow, taught them skills important to know.

Every day I helped them to find books, stories and poetry to enrich their minds.

Now, that it’s over, I must tell them and you, their teachers today, my secret.

Thank you! For taking the next one’s hand, and guiding them through the next new land!

Thank you for watching them grow, for teaching them skills they will need to know.

For harder and farther the road they will face, these students who now you prepare for life’s race.

Your dedication is appreciated; your teaching is so that they will be ready, set to go.

All those years, parts of my heart I’ve passed on to the children entrusted to me.

I’ve loved them for a moment and then let them go.

I did my best to help them grow.

Today I am repaid far more than you know

Because you are helping others to grow!

Thank you, the teachers of 2019! I salute you, for like the Velveteen Rabbit, someday — if you are Real — your hair will be white with age, your memory will be faulty (you may not know the boy you remember, or the father), you might walk rather crooked (carrying around big books makes you walk not so straight after a while.) But your heart will be filled with a warm, kind of bouncy feeling; your eye that has been loved off because of hugging will see only smiles; and the ear that doesn’t stand up quite right, well, you won’t be pretty. But, oh, you will be Real! ‘Round Town!

Glenda Byars is a correspondent for The Gadsden Times. Send submissions to glendabyars@comcast.net.