Two Writing Teachers.  Slice of Life Day 23.  It's a cold, but sunny, Monday in Maine after a cold, snowy and very windy weekend in Maine.  At least the snow didn't amount to much.  The cold and wind, however, made up for that.  The wind has died down and it isn't snowing.  We are left with sunny and cold.  No sign of greening anywhere yet.

On Saturday, I spent a lot of the day commenting on blogs for the Highlights writers' retreat drawing. I knew I couldn't do any on Sunday, so I read and read and read on Saturday.  I have to say, I am glad that I got that chance to read.  As Margaret Simon said after reading 60 blogs and commenting, "I won already."  It's true; it really does seem that the reading of so many blogs in a day was the prize itself.  I logged 64 visits, 64 comments...and they were all so much fun to read.  I'd like to take a day and do that again... laundry, lunch and leisure suffer though... and puppy lacks attention.

Just a short slice from yesterday.  I teach Sunday School to 4-6 year olds, and yesterday was Sunday...
I was going to be talking about Mary for the lesson.  I wrote Mary on the whiteboard, and asked them if anyone knew who Mary was - figuring they'd remember that we were in Sunday School, in church, doing Bible stuff.  And they did, kind of:

"My mom and dad are married!"
"Mine, too!"
"My dad is back!"

I wrote "Marry" on the board next to Mary to show them that all the letters were the same, but there was an extra "r" in marry. Then we talked about how "marry" was a man and woman becoming husband and wife, and the other, "Mary", was a name.  It was the name Mary I wanted to know about.

"Oh, like Mary had a little lamb",  the four year old little boy sitting next to me declared.
I had to say, "You know it is exactly like her!"  For there is reason to believe that it, as many other nursery rhymes, had underlying religious or political meaning.

My oldest student, almost ready to move into the 7 to 12 year old class, finally spoke up and said, "Mary was Jesus' mother."

I'll be sad to see her go in a month when she turns 7.  It's nice to have someone know the answers.  But I also love hearing the answers from the unschooled!  I don't think I'll ever grow tired of hearing those precious responses!

And now, as usual, a poem for the day.  But first let me say this about that:

I'm pretty sure that I promise never to try to publish this one!  Sometimes you just write something stupid.  Here's my stupid one.  I'm not even going to tell you to enjoy, because I don't know that there's much to enjoy about it. It's not lyrical, nor very rhythmical.  It's confusing and bemusing.  (Oh, I am so going to use bemusing in a poem soon...)  It's Heidi Mordhorst's fault anyway.  She's the one who assigned "clutCH" for today.  I'm just the one who butCHered it.

A Clutch Situation

I clutch my clutch
march to the car
step on clutch
put it in gear
down the driveway
chick clutch appears
I clutch the wheel
and try to steer
stomp brake and clutch
as I near
car starts to veer
they thought I had
them in my clutches
but I've avoided
them with sheer
luck and clutch
no clucking clutch
need ever fear
as long as this
lucky clucky clutch
    clutch clutching
        car clutching
           champ is here -
I'm done
    hands off
        my story's done
don't clutch my throat,
    I'm done,
        my dear!

©Donna JT Smith


  1. I really enjoyed your poem! Using the one word with it's many meanings is a great idea. I have a bunch of thoughts swirling now. Thank you!

    1. Sometimes it's fun to try. It's quite a language we have.

  2. You must have had lots of fun writing that poem. You must have been clutched by the possibilities.

    1. Yes, I guess you could say it had me in its clutches.

  3. As Art Linkletter said, "Kids say the darndest things". One great thing about working with younger children is that you are never sure where their mind is or what will come out of their mouths.

  4. I just marvel at the way you take a word and then fashion it into a catchy poem. Such fun to stop by every day!

  5. Ha! Loved the word play.
    I often write down some of the quotes from my students. Last week we started talking about junior vs. senior. They asked me who was the oldest. I told them that it goes: Bob Sr, Bob Jr, Bob III, Bob IV. One of my kids said: Oh ya, senior is the oldest--they get to eat at restaurants for cheaper. Yup.


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