Thursday, August 27, 2020

back to school; poetry friday is here!

It's good to be back, Poetry Friday!  My hiatus was important, but I've missed you. Do you wonder what I've been up to?  You can check out this post and the two following to find out what I did to relieve my mind.  Shout out to Linda Baie for the initial gift and participation.     

And while it has been ever so easy to forget, amid the wide array of challenges to our precarious status quo, that I'm supposed to be a Climate Activist, I'm going to send you to this separate post <currently under construction> all about the intriguing pandemic invention called a ShoeStrike for Climate.

[EDITED SAT MORNING]  What was I thinking?  School starts Monday, and even if I'm still rounding up new PreK families and trying to set up virtual home visits all week, I have a thousand things to do.  I do not have time to write a separate post about shoestrikes!  Climate action is still important, but I can only do so much. I may not get to everyone's post this weekend, but I'll get there eventually. 


Also, I notice that I did something that bothers me when others do it.  I took a shortcut and said "amid the wide array of challenges," instead of very specifically naming the unceasing traumatic effects--on every color of us--of systemic racism, the system that tells police officers that Jacob Blake (and his three little boys) are a threat to their safety because he's Black, so shoot him. Power, justice and compassion to the marchers yesterday. Sorry I couldn't join.

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Any minute now it will be September of the strangest and most uncomfortable of my 56 years.  You can tell because I am awake at 12:30 am on Wednesday night writing a Poetry Friday post ahead of time.

In September 2001 the elementary school kids had already gone back to school and my Caterpillar Class of 4-year-olds was just getting underway.  Then 4 planes crashed into parts of our "safe little greatest nation on earth" and suddenly nothing would ever be the same.  Do you remember?

At that time I had a toddler and had recently returned to the practice of poetry.  For a workshop I wrote this poem, and you'll see why it has come to mind again as I cease checking the daily counts in order to focus on going back to school, joyfully, with a screen full of 4-year-olds.  I guess I have a little lingering grief to get out before we start singing the 🌞Good Day, PreK!🌞 song for 2020....



On that cheery note, HAPPY NEW SCHOOL YEAR to all the teachers who will or are already rockin the remote learnin! Kindly leave your links for the roundup below, and may we all be as well as we can-- especially our friends who have weathered hurricanes in addition to all the other storms we currently ride under.    


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

22 comments:

  1. Oh, Heidi. Wow. That is SOME poem. So concrete and full of meanings both literal and not. That phrase about people like eager leaves--that's what haunts me most about September 11th. Your poem, too, is haunting, but beautiful also.

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  2. I do remember...my toddler as well. I had just started to write again as a mom, home full time. Very similar vibe to your description. Thank you for the beauty of your poem that describes such terrible things. You are brilliant at that. I love working on a PF post early. I'm a get the assignment done ahead of time gal...and I'm STILL always behind. Thanks for hosting. I've missed the sparkle of this blog. Glad to see it today.

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  3. Powerful poem Heidi, and fitting for our times. I like your idea of not checking counts and preparing yourself for the preschoolers, they may be a welcome tonic in disguise. Loved your link to the Fearless Grandmother's Shoe strike protest, what a wonderful idea! I haven't been able to participate in any of the marches and won't be able to till our pandemic is under control. Thanks for all and for hosting the roundup!

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  4. Heidi, I wonder if the little ones you will teach will be our climate activists of the future as they ponder while drawing and playing in sand. Being part of the 9/11 tragedy with 45 people perishing from my village and the recent tropical storm damage on Long Island, I welcomed your poem that makes me sit back and remember. What this year will bring is unknown but thanks to the teachers like you who are leading little ones on a new pathway, it will be an interesting one. Thanks for hosting and writing this poem of remembrance and action.

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  5. The whole technicolor enchilada! Very nice mind relievers, Heidi. Good luck with the new school year!! 💗

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  6. What a powerful poem...the playfulness of the colors and somber tone of the subject are a difficult balance you pull off well. Thanks for hosting!

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  7. Heidi the memories of that time will remain with us forever. I accepted a job to work in NYC urban schools the day before 9/11. I arrived three weeks later and will never forget the hush of the city at that time. The stories and drawings of the children are seared into my memory. Your poem is a poignant reminder of those events. Life draws us forward but we bring with us aspects of our individual and collective past. As a new school year dawns for you may you draw on the optimism of the curious young learners we come into the classroom eager to launch an exciting learning journey. Thanks for hosting.

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  8. Oh, I remember that day so well, with students and eventually some parents came in to spend the day with us as we listened to the radio, then saw more & more that night, coming back to talk again & again.(middle schoolers) Your parts about that "careless endless summer" feels like our connection to this 2020 summer, another poignant loss. Wishing you a special start with your sweet littles! Thanks for hosting!

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  9. Happy New Year, dear Heidi! Who'd ever think you'd be going back to school to "a screen full of 4-year-olds". Your 9/11 poem is as poignant and heartbreaking now as it was then. Thanks for hosting and sending you lots of healthy, spiritlifting vibes. :)

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  10. Oof. That poem is a gut-punch. Yes, we must take time to grieve. It isn't a one-time thing, and we can't always know when we'll need to stop and allow all the feelings to wash over us. I hope the Good Day Pre-K song heals your heart a bit. I know that getting to know my scholars this week, even if through a screen, has made me a little bit more whole.

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  11. Heidi, that 9/11 poem is a beautiful gutkicker. Thank you. And oh the storms! Wishing you and everyone love and peace. Poetry will help us get through it. xo

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  12. Thank you for sharing your tablestorms and that gut wrenching poem.
    I too remember that day, as William was nearly 6 months and off to his first day of daycare at a friend’s. I dropped him off at 8:45 and headed on to work, sobbing. I turned on NPR to try and get myself together. It never happened.

    Thinking of you and all my teacher friends heading back to school.

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  13. Oh Heidi. That poem is masterful/powerful/real. I remember my mum calling and saying to turn on the TV ... being stupefied by what she was saying. To be honest, I just was so thankful we didn't have a TV, because I didn't want to SEE what my mum was describing!

    I cannot imagine the challenges teachers of today are facing. Kindy through Zoom... It boggles the mind! I am sure you will do wonderful things with those kiddies!

    Oh - and for some reason, I can't post my link to the link-up. Can someone please do that for me? (Ta!)

    https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/2020/08/28/new-verse-novels-in-progress-and-in-the-hand

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  14. Oh, wow... sometimes it feels that way, doesn't it? That everything we learn or teach is solely for the purpose of more injustice and war. And yet, teachers teach because that's not true, and everyone does what they can to make the world whole again. Thank you for sharing this memory - and the hope of "Good Day, Pre-K" (and now I want to hear you sing it).

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  15. Oh, Heidi, what a haunting poem. Yes, I remember the day well. My two oldest girls were only 5 and 7. That then-five-year-old is now teaching and both she and my husband are back in their classrooms, teaching in person. (He's a high school teacher, she's teaching 4th grade.) Send them good teacher vibes! :)

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  16. Beautiful poignant poem, Heidi! So apropos for today, as well. Best wishes for bringing love and light to your students!

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  17. So good, Heidi. Wishing you a wonderful year, in spite of everything.

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  18. A beautiful poem that really is appropriate for right now. I especially like the juxtaposition of fall's loveliness with the horror of 9/11. 9/11 was my first day teaching parent-child classes. I got to school before the news broke, but some of the 2-3 year olds had seen it! Good luck with the new school year. My early childhood program is in person, so I decided not to return this fall.

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  19. Your poem was haunting Heidi. Thank you for sharing it. I wrote on a similar topic today - the return to school. In 2001, I was holding my 6 day old youngest son in front of the television as I recall a scene hard to believe. My youngest is now a high school graduate, and the K12 years are finished for our family. I am both sad and relieved. I wish you the best for a good school year. Thanks for hosting! (Carol @ The Apples in My Orchard).

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  20. Our school opened late that year because of renovations and it was only the second day of school. I couldn't even process the facts when one of my colleagues told me the towers had collapsed. Your powerful poem brings all those feelings of fear and powerlessness rushing back. I'll be thinking of you and your "screen full of 4-year- olds."Thank you for hosting, Heidi!

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  21. I read your poem first thing this Sunday morning. So powerful! I hope you have a rewarding new year at school and that life will return before too long to something more normal.

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Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!