Monday, April 18, 2016

#SOL16 Poems Hide




Sunday night, I participated in the #Read4Fun chat on Twitter. The topic was poetry, and the chat brought to mind some of my favorite poems. A long-standing favorite of mine is "A Valentine for Ernest Mann" where Naomi Shihab Nye writes, "Poems hide." 

Today, I found a poem hidden in the oversized, dusty Nemo that has been sitting atop the mailbox in my classroom. Nemo originally came from the board walk of the Jersey Shore, where I surprisingly won him in a game in the summer of 2004. Nemo lived in my kindergarten classroom for a long time. Now he lives in 3rd grade and he's part of the background, largely ignored.

My third graders and I were writing poems today, beginning with an image first. I brought in some objects from home and invited them to look out our classroom window, too, for ideas. At first, the room was chatty and I worried they weren't focusing, but soon they all found spots and there was a quiet hum of kids really working. I sat on the carpet with Nemo and wrote this poem:

Nemo
By Kathleen Sokolowski

In his black, round eyes
are memories of salt air.
A thin layer of dust 
replacing sand
on his neon orange fur.
He has seen much.

Once he hung among the bright lights
illuminating summer evenings
boardwalk smells wafting over him,
buttery popcorn, fresh baked cookies.
A prize to be won.

A train ride, then,
to a place without ocean breezes.
Children's laughter still surrounds,
but more subdued here.
He became a comforting friend
to little ones missing home, too. 

Now, Nemo lives in 3rd grade
Atop a mailbox,
He fades into the scenery
Not really noticed
Never thought of,
Until right now.