Attention to Attendance
She had heard it all.
No story was new and she was never convinced
that the reason for an absence
was the death of a grandmother.
And you could be sure
that she would have your grandmother
on the phone within minutes.
She took a mental picture of a student as a freshman
and she never let anyone out of her
student's Rouge Gallery.
Besides your grandmother she knew both parents,
Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and all your friends.
Army Intelligence should have drafted her in '41.
She was the best intelligence officer
we have ever known and with her enlisted the allies
could have shortened the war by a least a year.
And you can bet that Ike would not
have gotten away with his philandering
if Miss Baldwin was around.
Had there been such a bold military move as to
draft her we would have been able to get
through school with considerably less scrutiny.
We could have gone to Walsenburg to see Will's girl
and convince the school's Rosie the Riveter,
the substitute attendance clerk,
that there had been an
epidemic of flu among the football team.
I don't remember a smile or a tear
changing her face.
A cut finger or a real emergency and
she was an unsmiling rock.
Kindly Attendance Officer is an oxymoron
anyhow so we should not have expected
that she would wear such a title.
Rather, words like efficient, hardworking, dedicated,
suspicious and clever seem better descriptors.
She did her job and we can add
respected to the list of captions.
Margaret Baldwin kept us off the walls
and in our classes long enough for the
rough edges to wear off and THS
to make us ready to be guardians
Wherever she is tonight, I am sure she is
watching to make sure we are
in our seats with clean
Doug Minnis 1995