Category Archives: poetry

28 years

28 years ago

28 years ago
we met on a Thursday
on the third floor
in theatre

Back then
you had big glasses
big hair…you were
a bit of a dork

Back then
I had flippy hair
(scrunchy on my wrist)
not as cool as I imagined

We did
acting exercises
first word – last word– subject
oh – and monologues

We laughed
the way everyone
laughs together
in theatre

(Everyone
should be so lucky
to make friends 
backstage)

We flirted
the way teenagers 
flirt together – 
a crush

By May
we were in love
a first kiss
in the greenroom

28 years ago
we met on a Thursday
on the third floor 
in theatre

The Skin of Our Teeth
Our first play, I’m in front with the flippy hair. Mr. Thought is in the back with the suit and tie.

 

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From my chair, at my desk at 6:00 a.m. (A Slice of Life)

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

 

From my chair, at my desk at 6:00 a.m.

From my chair, at my desk at 6:00 a.m., I see
coffee, almost done
water bottle, waiting
a stack of books
a stack of bills
so many post-it notes
flair pens in
and out of their organizer
paper clips
a new pack of Sharpies
a mini typewriter pencil sharpener
a glasses cleaner cloth
notes my 9-year old left himself with
lego and pokemon passwords
notes I left myself:
“Reflect”
“Pen on the page”
“Stop Googling”

From my chair, at my desk at 6:00 a.m., I see
my floor,
(even though I try not to look)
bags packed for school
the dog’s tiger toy
the tiger’s stuffing in bits all over
the dog’s giant rope, frayed
a bin of printer paper
a stack of books
an extra bag

From my chair, at my desk at 6:00 a.m., I see
the dark hallway
the vacuum around the corner
the lit kitchen
where I know the empty lunchboxes wait
and maybe another drop of coffee

A slice of 2 PSSA pantoums of course!

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I saw this “Anatomy of a Pantoum” on instagram today, posted by @beabetterwriter. So, I did some more reading about the form. I guess it used to be a rhyming poem, and now not so much. So I thought I’d try both kinds… no rhyme, and a rhyme…. Because it’s April, and it was the first day of the PSSAs, the first time any of my own children have taken the test. I’m fairly sure I’m not doing this totally correctly… but hey! I’m trying! 

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I don't think it's good for kids
a pantoum without rhyme 

One might be doing it to fit in
One might be doing it for the bubble gum
I'm not sure why I didn't just opt them out
But my kids took their first PSSA today

One might be doing it for the bubble gum
That's what motivates some through
But my kids took their first PSSA today
And by all accounts, it's fine

That's what motivates some through
For 4 more days they'll test 
And by all accounts, it's fine
I don't think it's good for kids 

For 4 more days they'll test
I'm not sure why I didn't just opt them out
I don't think it's good for kids 
One might be doing it to fit in


Cop out on the Opt Out
a pantoum with rhyme 

"I hope I get my teacher a good score"
You knew then you had copped out 
Because this was the very first time your
PSSA-hating self hadn't signed the opt out. 

You knew then you had copped out. 
Pressured from some unseen place, 
Tired of the invisible testing walkout
You can't beat it, so I guess you just embraced? 

Pressured from some unseen place
Your kids are annoyed with this task
Thinking the rules are stupid in this case
"Why no watches or snacks?" They ask.

Your kids are annoyed with this task
You knew then you had copped out 
You put on your happy mom mask:
"You can do it! I have no doubt." 



A Slice of A Saturday in your early 40s

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers


A Saturday in your early 40s. 
before these
there were stories
of Saturdays in your early 30s
with all your baby, toddler, preschool worries

Now you have older kids
and a Migraine
you just wake with it -
must be the pressure - barometric 
finally give in take some excedrin 
and then you live again 

Barnes & Noble
buying books time
but you also buy slime, 
expensive chocolate mousse and a blondie at snack time
and, admit it, a coconut milk vanilla latte - that's sublime

Overhear: 
someone asking about Wishtree - 
"Is that in the Magic treehouse series?" (Nope)
What is it about that desperate need 
to tell a stranger that the book in their hand
is one they should read?

Rush home so you can take the almost 16-ager
secondhand clothes shopping 
where you hold her t-shirts and jeans,
calmly trying to explain: 
"Yes, the line is long but even if they are only $16, you should definitely try them on."

These are some of the stories
of a Saturday in your early forties

It’s just a moment

 

The boy is maybe 2
he reaches for his dad’s hand
(I assume it’s his dad
but that’s not the point)

He’s maybe 2
they’re on a walk
and he reaches for his dad’s hand
it’s just a moment

I drive by
back from a quick dinner drop off
because my kids aren’t 2
they are 16, and 12 and 9

I have pictures
of my kids when they were maybe 2
walking with their dad
(It’s definitely their dad)

But you can’t climb
into pictures
and hold hands
with your 2 year old

So I’m adding this
to my list
of stuff
I sometimes cry about

#sol19 March 29 A Slice of Writing Habits.

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge!
I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Writing Habits

I'm a wiggler.
I'm a doodler. 
I'm a jotter. 
I'm a writer. 

My fingers are wiggly
they want to type
while walking to my car
or hovering over the keyboard
as if wiggling will give them a running start

I doodle what I've always doodled
my name, borders, random shapes and figures
in margins and on post-its
wasting paper just to feel the pen 
on the page

I jot moments
quickly before the words leave
sometimes it isn't quick enough
sometimes I try text to speech
sometimes I can't tell what I was trying to remember

I write
every day in March
and lots of other days too
slices and joys and stories
wiggle, doodle, jot right out

I'm a wiggler.
I'm a doodler. 
I'm a jotter. 
I'm a writer

 

#sol19 March 25 A slice of your slices

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge!
I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

March 25 

It's that day in March
stories overload my mind 
The only problem is
These slices 
aren't really mine

Writing doesn't always fit
the roles I take in life
a coach, 
a teacher
a mom and a wife

If I write my stories
and actually hit publish
I've broken the 
trust 
we thought we established

So I'll keep my mind closed
and my stories at bay
So your hopes 
and your dreams
aren't on display


 

 

#sol19 March 24 A slice of singing (Really)

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge!
I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Everyone in my house can sing, loves singing.
Last night we went to the cabaret
“I’ve always wanted to be able to sing” I said. I thought. I always think.
Really.

I try to have a growth mindset, I really do.
But, I can’t really sing.
You can ask my family if you want confirmation.
Really.

In high school, I joined the choir with a request to the director
“I want to act, so I need to learn some singing skills.”
She made me sing the Star Spangled Banner, I think.
Really.

I realized quickly that I could kind of sing
if I was next to other people singing the same exact notes
not in a mixed parts group, like they do in, you know, choirs.
Really.

In a play once, I had to sing a lullaby to another character.
Maybe twinkle twinkle little star.
It took a lot of practice– I can remember my director trying to be patient.
Really.

When I’m teaching, though, I sing.
Rainbow Connection, This Land is Your Land. . .
all sorts of tunes with different lyrics to fit the situation. It’s fun.
Really.

#sol19 March 19 A Slice of a Right Now Lesson

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge!
I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

I got to write with kids today. I love being invited in as a guest slicer. It’s become a little tradition for me to show kids a “Right now” slice. (Last year’s is here.)

We brainstormed “ing” words, filling the whiteboard.

“Don’t judge my spelling yet. This is a brainstorm,” I told them.

I showed them how you can complete any “ing” thought with something that makes sense for you. Sometimes you have to cheat the phrasing a little, but they are all possible.

They tried it, while I challenged myself to fill the brainstormed list with complete thoughts.

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We came back together to talk about revision. “You could go through your work and circle ones that seem to go together.”

We found a theme in . mine: I’m tired. This isn’t shocking to me. 

“Maybe you should add ‘wishing for coffee.’ one of the boys said.

I love writing with kids.

Below, my revised shorter “Right Now I Am” Slice.

Right Now I Am. . . 
falling asleep at my desk
starving for sleep
running out of energy
dying to go to bed early
living day by day
waiting for time to sleep
aging more rapidly than I want
wailing when I'm annoyed - have I mentioned that I'm tired?
talking too much
doing too much
sleeping too little
Right now I am tired

#Sol18 March 21 Spring Snow Day

Slice of LIfe

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing! 

Spring Snow Day: A day in a few words

Delay!
Cancelled!
Yay!

Coffee?
Coffee?
Coffee?

Clean
Your
Stuff.

Chores?
No!
Chores!

Whine?
Too
Much.

Wine?
Too
Early.

Chores?
No!
Chores!

Ignored
Annoyed
Tired

Roads?
Clear
Enough.

Lunch
Shop
Home

Vet
Karate
Grandparents

Home
Snack
Write

Clean
Your
Stuff!

Hope
Bedtime’s
Soon.