Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Little by Inch Day 3

Oooh, spring?
OOOOOHHHH!  Yesterday was my 600th post!  Today is obviously 601...now I have to wait 99 more times before I can celebrate!  Sigh.  How did I miss that?

This is a Slice of Life for:
Two Writing Teachers SOL Day 3!  Check out other slices there.
The poem also is part of a challenge at

Stretch Little-By-Inch

I wrote for myself
And some to the sky;
I wrote as if no one should
Hear me walk by.
Little by inch,
My thoughts opened wider
Till someone exclaimed,
“We can see what's inside her!”
No one was laughing,
They didn’t leave,
Everyone stayed there;
I heard myself heave
a sigh of relief,
and then I wrote more
and started a stretch
that opened a door -
a door that will only
close at the end when -
my “Once upon” time
with flourish of pen
concludes with “happily”,
“ever” and “after”
and signs off "Sincerely,
Word-happy Crafter".

And that is how my writing happened...
My Doctor Bag all set to go

Now for yesterday, come to think of it, it's all a part of the process in the poem, too - STRETCHING...

I was hoping for some good bit of slice for today.  It was "Read Across America" day and Dr. Seuss' Birthday.  Our schools here, as with most others across the nation, had volunteer readers from the communities come in to talk about why reading is important to them and then read to the students.

Being a teacher forever, I was the one to have a volunteer reader come into my classroom and read to my class; being retired, I am the volunteer going into someone's classroom to read.

I made a bold move (my stretch) and decided I would share my poetry writing with them, telling them about my love of poetry that started an early age with the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson.

So I did.

I arrived at the second grade classroom 10 minutes ahead of schedule, carrying a bag holding my work AND some other poetry books just in case my poetry fell flat.  If my poetry didn't capture their attention, then I'd dazzle them with a "real" author/writer!

I pulled out some papers I had printed up.  I told them these were some poems I was working on, that I had one poem written four times as I worked to get it the way I wanted it.  I heard "Hey, just like we do!" and saw the student turn to his teacher for validation.  Heads nodded all around the room.

Before I read my poem "Seasonings of Spring", I asked them what the meanings of season could be, and they knew the for seasons meaning easily, and one said there was a cooking meaning, too.  Yea - it wasn't too hard!   At the end someone said it also sounded like planting a garden.  I said that it did, and maybe he could write a "recipe" poem sometime.  From his smile, I think he might just do that!

I read a riddle poem about a mitten I wrote this week.  Maybe they could try a riddle poem someday.  Every time I read a poem, they listened and laughed like "I got it" at the end, just the way I'd hoped.
Each time I asked what a poem meant or what some of the words meant, they made intelligent guesses, figured it out or just outright knew.

What a delight they were!  They were listening, contributing, "getting it" and sat still for more.  I could not have asked for a better audience.

Then I bravely pulled out my book, "Winter Ways".  I explained to them that I had written the poems in this book and had taken the pictures.  I even told them how helpful my husband was at stopping the car and letting me take pictures when I saw a great shot.
I began to read from the book.  I watched with wonder as they listened, reacted and wanted more.  I grinned with pleasure as they discussed meanings of words, point of view, types of poems, shapes of poems, rhyming, rhythm...oh, just EVERYTHING near and dear to my heart.

They got it.  They liked it.  They wanted me to read more.  They wanted me to read some poems twice.

I left 10 minutes later than I was scheduled.  Two students walked me back down the hall to the office.  One of them turned to me as we walked and said, "You're a good writer."  And I said, "Thank you!" (Wow...they said I was a writer!)

They were supposed to be on the receiving end of this exchange.  If they got half as much out of this experience as I did, I'd be ecstatic because that would mean they got plenty - I was overflowing.

I know, they're in second grade.  I know, I've taught.  I know, they are kind.  Kids always say very nice things about what adults can do even when it may not be that great to another adult.  But I'm gratefully and humbly accepting their appreciation.

Now on to those books of spring and summer poems.  They thought it would be a good idea.

Let's see...I need something to rhyme with spring...
Isn't spring a great word?


  1. I love your poem! I've recently gotten into poetry- although still timid- but writing rhyming poetry is so hard for me. I envy people who can write *good* rhyming poetry. Mine is always "the fat cat sat on a mat" sorta stuff. Well done!

  2. Stretching produces outcomes. Glad your stretch produced such terrific results for you as well as for your listeners.

  3. What on earth would make you ever think you weren't a writer?! You are a most prolific poet! I am always in awe (truth be told jealous, intimidated) by the creative work you produce. Yes, those kids got it right, you are quite the writer. I'll bet you were an awesome reader, especially since they were your poems.

    1. Oh, my goodness! Thank you! I wrote more here in the reply, deleted it, wrote again and deleted it. I have so many questions... But I'm just going to say thank you again and maybe post this on my refrigerator to remind myself that I should answer "I'm a writer" when someone asks me what I do.

  4. You are definitely a writer and a poet in my book - I love the way you whittle away and craft poem after poem, as though it was just the easiest thing in the world.

  5. Just beautiful, always the poem, Donna, but loved the story, too. You are also, ever, a teacher. I think you just made a big impression on those 2nd graders that will last and last. Loved reading every bit.


Drop some breadcrumbs! Let me know you were here!