Archive for April, 2013

The Best (and Hardest) Part of My Day

April 24, 2013

(overheard in my third grade math group as some kids were trying to put a math problem together from random words and numbers)

Them: Mrs. Levin, this is hard!
Me: Yep. It is. You’re not complaining, are you?
Them: No.
Me: Oh good. Because you deserve to have things hard sometimes.
(more work, more missing the target)
Them: Is there even an ANSWER TO THIS?
Me: Yep.
(more work, still no answer)
Them: This is IMPOSSIBLE!!
Me: Nope. Nope, it’s not.
Them: This is so FRUSTRATING!
Me: Yep. And you deserve frustrating. You deserve the chance to work for something really hard.
(more work, still no answer)
Me: (taking some index cards with the words and numbers on them) Here, try arranging these until you find something that works.

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(shuffling the cards, switching and swiping, still no answer)

Them: Mrs. Levin, are you SURE this has an answer?
Me: Yep, I’m sure.
(more shuffling, more debating, until EUREKA!)

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THE HARDEST PART
Watching them and saying nothing even though these kids were SO DARN CLOSE, SO MANY TIMES. My tongue still has bite marks on it.

THE BEST PART
Me: See what I mean? You struggled through something and then you did it? How do you feel now?
Them: Super-awesome.
Me: Yeah. ‘Cause you ARE awesome. Awesomely awesome.

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Mother’s Lament (NaPoWriMo Day 9)

April 9, 2013

I can taste it,
Like the first bite of a hot-fudge sundae
Or a gooey, cheesy pizza
So delightful
Rich
Decadent,
Yet well-deserved.

I long for it
From deep within my bones
I hunger
I ache

For a
Good
Night’s
Sleep

Why I Don’t Write Limericks (NaPoWriMo Day 7)

April 7, 2013

Sometimes as a matter of course
My thoughts into structure I’ll force
In my strong efforts I’ll
Replace substance with style
(Putting the cart before horse)

Signs of Spring – National Poetry Month Day 6

April 6, 2013

Signs of Spring

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The hostas, in hushed whispers
Poke their heads from the earth
And signal an all-clear

The crocus responds
Gentle, persistent,
Not wishing to interrupt
But clear to any who listen

And others, in turn, join the crescendo:
Daffodil, tulip, forsythia, lilac

Silenced, I join the world in
The deep, full breath
I had almost
Forgotten how to take.

Do You Remember Me? National Poetry Month, Day 5

April 5, 2013

Do You Remember Me?

You…
You, with that faded bonnet,
The microscopic handwriting,
The comics you drew me,
The moldy mess we excavated from your desk,
The orange sweatshirt you always wore,
The April Fool’s joke you played on the class,

How you didn’t speak until February,
How your grandma was your rock,
How you asked question after question after question,
How I worried about the sadness I sometimes saw in you
How I carried so much of you with me:
Your essays, your homework, your worries…

…You.

You, who I sent out like ripples
Wondering,
Awaiting your return
Like a present
I get to keep opening.

 

Why I write – Poetry month day 4

April 4, 2013

Why I Write

There is a certain
Satisfaction
That comes with cooking a good meal.
It’s the love stirred in
The effort of smelling, tasting, listening, editing
Until it seems just right
And the hungry ones take it in
And where there was once noise
There is the quiet
Of grateful and appreciative chewing.

And I think,
This is what I made, this piece
Of me I served out.
They like it,
And they are
Eating it up.

Priorities (National Poetry Month Day 3)

April 3, 2013

Priorities

Sometimes when I shower, I
(full of distractions) grip the soap
Too tightly, and
It pops right out of my hand.

I used to
Reach for it blindly,
Block it with my elbow,
Slow it down with my knee,
All to keep it from
Hitting the shower floor;
A valiant effort
That many times worked.

Until
One morning, my distracted self once again
Grabbed the soap.
As it slipped through my hands,
Time
Slowed
Down
And I thought
Well, maybe.
Maybe it would be okay this time
And no one would be hurt
And no one would get angry
And heroics look silly anyway
And I maybe could just

Let
It
Fall.

Poetry Month – Entry 2

April 2, 2013

The Poem I Didn’t Write

 

Was the one about
Our favorite tree,
The one out front that you can’t get your arms around.
The one my boys and I picnic under
On lazy summer days while we
Watch the drivers
Pass life by

The tree that grants quiet strength,
Steadfast devotion
(not unlike my father)

The tree my children worry someday will fall,
Or get sick and die.
What will happen when it is gone?
I can’t picture the changed landscape,
The lack of shade
The empty space.

The poem I didn’t write
Wanted to be about our favorite tree, yet
Sank its roots too deep.
It waits for me, unfinished
Awaiting a time
I am ready to dig.

-April 2013

Poetry month: poem-a-day challenge

April 1, 2013

Being that it’s April, I’ve challenged my writers to write a poem for every day of April.

In the spirit of doing what I ask my students to do, I’m jumping in. Here’s day 1.

April brings showers:

Of rain, of spring promise, of words

Open up-let it pour.