Saturday, December 1, 2018

out of sync

is how I seem to be this shortest fall ever, with NCTE climbing in over parent conferences, with winter sweeping into mid-November, with December jingling in early with Hanukkah on its heels, with the hottest, the wettest, the driest, the coldest ever.

In rebending a few crucial spines of myself, I'm off the clock, off-kilter, out of step, outta sight and out of mind and hardly ever sure what I want to be doing with my time.

So now it's Saturday evening and I find I did want to post for Poetry Friday, although early on Friday instead of composing my post I was doing something else poetic and secret.  Maybe it's not too late.  Maybe it's never too late.

It's definitely not too late to reconnect with a former student.  Tyler hasn't been gone long; he's in 3rd grade now and I had him last year. I got the most welcome email from his mom, sharing this, "proudly described as his first rhyming poem."

I love this for so many reasons.  This poem is Tyler through and through, the Tyler I knew, short and  full of power!  But also, the craft: the tantalizing switch-up of "hunters taking wing" and "rulers of the air" for the title, the collective voice, the mythic feel of the language with the ring of a pledge, a shift in the rhythm at the end lest it become too sing-song and lose its gravity.

And of course I love the evidence that the work and play we did with poetry continues to hold a place in Tyler's world, which is definitely not all due to his year with me in 2nd grade--his mom is a high school English teacher AND the literary magazine sponsor.  But it does feel good that Tyler would want to reach back and share this with me.

And here I am, a day and half late, sharing it with you, Poetry Friday.  Thanks to all who steadfastly make this community happen and do their part to keep it going. Even when any of us step out for a time, we are always welcomed back.  And thanks to Carol at Carol's Corner, for hosting this week!


  1. I'm glad you made it. Who cares if you are late. This is a striking poem for a 3rd grader. He's got poetry in his blood and is being help up by teachers like you. I love when parents send me messages, and eventually the kids find me again on Facebook. It's rewarding to know you matter.

  2. I love it! The work we do does carry on. Sometimes it's near impossible to see through the haze of our own seasons. But, it is there. Wonderful work on this third graders part. I'm so impressed that he is still writing and that his mom knew to share with you, his wonderful teacher. Thanks for the virtual cheerleading. We all need that from time to time. But, during the darkest days of the's perfect!

  3. It is definitely NEVER too late. And I also give thanks for the grace of this community as I return after an extended absence caused

    LOVE that you get to hear the echoes of your teaching in Tyler's poem. I have a fondness for dragons. He does well by them in his poem.

  4. Hi Heidi! Doing secret, poetic things? Cool!
    I love having people pop in with updates -- so rewarding for Tyler's poem to wing its way into your inbox (and our screens).

  5. That is the best - a poem from a former student! Congratulations!

  6. You are the best! We are so grateful Tyler had you as his teacher! -Joanna (proud mom of the poet)


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