A poem in honor of Aurora’s 25th birthday written by Aurora’s own Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet with Erich Stonestreet

The first class formed a circle,
drew out their selves, portraits
bold, hesitant, reaching:

carefully traced hands,
eyes brown or blue, mouths
boasting proud new teeth, faces

emerging from between the leaves
of the cut-paper tree, its branches
growing out across the hall,

and under the lowest bough
that near-hidden place
where one year and the next

they whispered, read, thought,
wept: alone, together,
in the arms of a teacher, a friend—

They’re grown now, still growing,
returning. A sweet sameness
to the place—the sound of it

when a child rings the bell,
and sings, and the applause
rises up, up, through the school,

through every room.
It is no small thing, to be granted
a space to become. To be.

Quarter-turn of a century later, our own
children’s faces shine from another
construction-paper tree, anchored

by this year’s roots, entwined,
reaching, back and in and down
to the place where we gather

to remind ourselves simply that we are
here, together, all a family
under one sky: this sky that today

receives our voices, rising up
out of what has become, by this
ordinary magic, our shared home.