John Burns, teacher of English for more than half a century at Saugus High School, close to a dozen miles north of Boston, stood in the near silence of a splendid morning beside his home atop the high ledge, looking down on the pond he had helped save. That other morning from early in his career came back as crisp as a knock at the door. He could hear the door opening. Into yesteryear he stepped:
“How many ways can you say it?”
John Burns pointed out the words he had printed in block letters on the blackboard for his sophomore English class. Central and Winter Street traffic was light at the edge of hearing, the sun did a mote dance on the windowsill. Outside, Saugus breathed the deep breaths of spring.
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