Group Poem
           "O Captain! My Captain!"

            Volume 44 ~ 2022

After Walt Whitman



​​Ode to Captain Jack’s staccato laugh,
floodplain smile filled to bursting,
her cat’s cradle spirit stretching 
to meet our every need. Ode to 
Summer Honors, second home, 
shortest, crushing season of joy 
and self-acceptance. Ode to our 
break-barriers-mentor who scoffs
at locks—impossible hold up—and 
swings every key like a swashbuckler
wandering at sea.


Her arrival was always anticipated,
Chatter of wonder filled the room,
Wonders of what we would create.

That day we tested how much weight
Our homemade bridges could hold,
While we tried to make the most of our time.

She taught us to unleash creativity 
And displayed her selfless and helpful nature,
Always encouraging us along the way.


With your imaginative brain 
Flooded with an unending ocean of names

Your contagious laugh that fills empty hearts 
Molding young minds make pieces of art 

Saying bye to you makes us uneasy 
But with all that said 
We hope your next sea adventure doesn’t make you too queasy


Oh Captain my captain
Sailor of the 13 seas
Through many a storm and dreary weather
You’ve led us by a gentle breeze




You're the stars in the sky that lead our ship home


Pointing us in the right direction,
Our north star
Leading us on the path of glory,
Helping us sharpen our brain
Giving us hope,
When we don’t see it
The greatest captain,
Of all time
Keeping the crew in check,
And keeping it fun for everyone
Thank you,
Captain Jack


Her crew is always loyal
snapping up to a salute as she enters
And show her the respect that she so demands


We love Mrs. Jack a bunch,
Man, I could really go for a bowl of Cap’n Crunch


My name is Lizabeth to you 
I guess losing an “E” will have to do… 

But that loss won’t mean as much to me 
As seeing you unhappy. 

Oh how we’ll miss you, Captain Jack, 
Now we’ll have to remember by looking back.


No matter the struggle,
No matter the situation,
She always brought smiles and cheers to our faces.


The face of SHP
The mother to us all
Always in charge of the fun
In summer or school
You treat us like humans
Kind to all kinds
No matter our differences

We all know that you love us 
And treat us like your own
You keep us safe
Never forgetting to call
And I always answer apologizing about not signing out
because I know you’re worried about me 
Because to you I am yours


You ignite the warm
Glow of acceptance
In our world-weary hearts.
We puff out our chests,
We straighten our spines,
Heads lift as you walk by.
Your kind eyes catch ours,
Your words kiss our ears.
Noticed. Seen.


Captain Jack is the spirit of summer honors.
She is our support,
our differentiation,
our welcoming environment.
She is the unexpected bonds
formed during nine square in the air,
and the traditions
that continue to share their stories;
She is the green jacket, the hat, Tiny Tim, and Maude.
She is the best two weeks
of every single summer.


Just as waving spears called flowers stand
High in the tall grass of Holdrege,
And unlike my forgetting to take
Pictures of Willa Cather’s childhood
Home, there is a cartographer in this sea
Of administrators, students, and instructors––
What I guess I’m saying only begins
In a small corner of Nebraska––maps
On to what will stay and what we will take
With us wherever we might one day set foot.


––For Janelle Jack who gave us something, even if we didn’t realize it.



Contributors in the order in which they appear:

Gina Tranisi

Jerzie Vap

Maxine Fickenscher

Lilly Sayer

Harper Fennel

Allison Boettcher

Isaac Haack

Matthew Garringer

Elizabeth Meyers

Landon Boettcher

McCartney Elliott

Jacey Kent 

Delaney Ham

Tyler Jacobs