Circle Poems

Not So Obvious

Where am I?
Sitting here
With my feet
Firmly planted
On the floor
Well, that is
The obvious answer
But what about
Those answers
That won’t come
So easily
Answers that lead
Down a path
Holding only
More questions-
How is it a single detour
On today’s path
Can feel like a failure
Sucking the air from
All the colorful balloons
Filled throughout the day
Rising to the top
Leaving behind
Contented smiles-
If only I could
Erase the sound
Of the needle
Popping the one balloon
Not released with joy-
Maybe tomorrow…

Confident Cloud

This morning
I noticed sunlight
Finding its way
Thru layers
Of clouds-
Some clouds
Seemed to bask
In the light
Almost disappearing
While others remained
Dark and gloomy
Allowing only
A few rays
To lightly lay
Across their gray-
Oh, to be the cloud
Completely open
To the sun’s warmth
Boring a hole
Right thru its center
Confident it is now
Ready to face
Whatever storm
May lie ahead

I continue to be encouraged by and grateful for the writing circle. ❤️ If you are interested, check out https://flashlightbatteries.blog/

Simply Sunday

Baby Steps

Your tiny forehead
Tilted to one side
Quizzically
Looking my way

I think I like you?

Tiny strategic moves
On my part
Required
To bring us closer

Do you want to play?

Magic of sunglasses
Tiny red flowers
Silly iridescent mirrors
Yours vs. mine

I see your eyes quietly smiling…

Your tiny forehead
Leaning toward mine
Briefly touching
Before leaning back

Oh yes, I think I like you!

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by Fred Rogers Kelley Morris, piano

Simply Sunday

45 rpm

Seven-inch
Vinyl disc
Placed on
A circle
Within
A magic box
Turn the knob
Watch it spin
Forty-five
Rotations
Per minute
Place the needle
Listen as it
Moves across
The ridges
Releasing
Its power
Releasing
The music

I saw the movie Elvis yesterday with my friend, Marina. I grew up listening to Elvis. Watched his concerts on television. Remember the breaking news on the day he died.

I also remember dancing around a record player with my cousins at grandma’s house. Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel were our choice of 45s. We all loved Elvis.

Elvis had a style all his own, and it was controversial. People either loved him or hated him. But his roots were honest and truthful. And his contributions to our nation’s musical heritage are of great value. I am thankful his 45s were part of my childhood.

Pause and Wonder

In the shapes
Of clouds
In the leaves
Of trees
In the feathers
Of backyard birds
It is everywhere
But do we recognize it?
They say…
It is the spice of life.
Maybe there is more to it than that?
In the colors
Of our skin
In the traditions
Of our cultures
In the songs
Of our hearts
Variety draws us in
Gives us cause
To pause
And wonder
Encourages us
To embrace
Our differences
Before showing us
How very much
We are the same

Hydrangea blooms. All from the same plant.

The Whole Story

I wish I knew the whole story. How your life began. The circumstances surrounding your birth. How your big sister played with you. What you were like as a toddler.

When we first met, you were bossy and tall for your age. But you had a big smile and beautiful long, dark hair. You loved flying high on the playground swings. I’m glad for those moments of joy in your life.

Schoolwork did not come easy. You worked so hard. No matter what we tried, letters and numbers couldn’t find their way into your memory banks. Not long-term, anyway.

You enjoyed listening to stories and spending time playing pretend with your friends. Somehow, unphased by the lack of remembering academic details.

Traveling between Mexico and Oklahoma seemed to be the pattern. You, your mother, and your older sister. That must have been stressful and scary. Not knowing how long you would stay in one place or where you belonged.

I wish I knew the whole story. Why the older you grew, the less care you seemed to receive. Understanding there must have been challenges in raising a child with disabilities. But still, you deserved to be cared for and loved.

What love there was somehow faded with the birth of a new baby. Slowly turning to neglect and abuse. My heart breaks over what I do know.

You are unable to tell me your whole story. Only bits and pieces. Maybe I shouldn’t wish to know it. One thing I do know is you will always wear the scars. Yet, you still manage to smile. You give and receive love. And just maybe, that is the whole story. ❤️

Our sweet friend, Marie. So glad she is part of our lives.

Quick to Dismiss

You and I have
A difference
Of opinion
As far as
Differences
Of opinion go
Since an opinion
Is quite often
Not completely
Based on facts
Perhaps we could
Put this one aside
Yes, it seems
Important now
Emotions heightened
With every discussion
But is it worth dismissing each other?
Flesh and blood
Heart and soul
Isn’t it worth attempting a connection?
If our hands could
Briefly touch
Surely our hearts
Would follow

President Biden spoke last evening concerning the epidemic of gun violence in our country. His words expressed sadness, compassion, and anger. His call to action was passionate as well as logical.

So many lives were lost. Families destroyed. Are we so stuck and stubborn in our thoughts and opinions? Is there no room left for compromise? I refuse to believe that is true.

Super Kids

Fresh air
Sunshine
Running
Jumping
Spinning
Friends
Playing
Getting ready
For summer-
Next year
Some will return
Some will move up
Some will move away
But today is not about that!
There will be
Scrapes and tears
Fusses and squabbles
Maybe even
A few rocks
Thrown
Yet, at the end of the day
What will they remember?
Playing with
Their friends
Being silly with
Their teachers
And, of course
Eating popsicles-
Because
Super Kids Day
Is all about super kids

Connecting the Dots

What if
I created
A map
Dotted with
Colorful pins
And string
Wrapped
Around
Each pin
Connecting
The dots one
To another
And each color
Holding an
Individual
Meaning
Blue? Content
Orange? Unsure
Green? Happy
Gray? Sad
Except that
Those pins
Would not
Mark places
I’ve traveled
Though many
Were beautiful
Memorable
No, this map
Would be
An outline
Of my heart
Veins
Arteris
Valves
Dotted by
The breath
Of hearts
Intersecting
Each change
Of direction

One Plus One

Twenty to one. Twenty-five to one. Thirty to one. No, not betting odds, teacher-student ratios. What happens when that one is changed to a two?

First-grade music class had a visitor today. My teacher friend, Mrs. Eakes. Angela, a former classroom teacher, is now an EL coach, passionate about all-things literacy and education.

Angela recently shared some articles with me about the benefit of echo songs. Particularly in helping students strengthen literacy skills. Echo is a big part of teaching music, and I was excited to incorporate the specific songs shared in the articles.

My kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes have been singing the songs over the past few weeks. Some with motions, all a little silly. All a lot of fun! Most of the time…

Confession…even with our current curriculum and these engaging songs, sometimes I struggle.

It is challenging to simultaneously stay calm, focused, and energized. Keeping students engaged while also settling disagreements or drying tears. I know I’m not the only teacher who sometimes feels this way…outnumbered.

When Mrs. Eakes joined our class, the difference was immediate. Not only for me but also for the students. Yes, one plus one equals two. But in music class, today, one plus one equaled ten!