In the first week of class I learned that we had a poetry assignment coming up. I’m going to be honest here and say that I couldn’t help but cringe. I feel a little self-conscious saying this, but I’m not a poetry fan. I just couldn’t help but relive awkward moments at open-mic nights in High School, and I was just in the audience. I have a friend who can’t watch television shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” because she feels extreme embarrassment for the characters, I feel that way about poetry sometimes.
The more I thought about it the more uncomfortable I became with my own feelings. Wasn’t my position on poetry akin to saying something like “I hate math” or “I’m just not creative”? When I hear these positions, especially when said around kids it bothers me. So I concluded, I can’t really be an elementary school teacher who doesn’t like poetry. So here is my good faith effort to change my perspective on poetry (it is also my first attempt at poetry since high school):
“Where I’m From”
I’m from the sentimental artifacts,
the spiral of a copper necklace, a long unworn wedding ring, painted rocks.
I’m from Grandma Cile’s red geraniums- fragrant in the sun,
dogwoods in an explosion of pale pink.
I am from the list-makers,
the sweep/mop/dust on Friday afternoons.
I am from the coffee cups on the side table,
stacks of books on top of stacks of magazines.
I am from the laid-back jokers, the story-tellers, the teasers.
I’m from the not-another-peep-out-of-you-girls,
the everything happens for a reason.
I’m from the it could be worse, say it and repeat.
I’m from the walks on the beach turned competitive.
(Blue seaglass is worth the most points.)
I’m from the giant pot of soup on the stove with homemade bread in the oven.
From the chanterelles and wild blue huckleberries.
I am from the connected, the supported.