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Friday, April 6, 2018

POEM #6- Reading Roots- To Mom


April is National Poetry Month and I'm trying to write a poem every day.  I'm also following one of my favorite children's poets, Amy Ludwig VanDerWater, who is doing a really interesting series, "One Subject, 30 Ways." She is writing about one topic, the constellation Orion, using 30 different techniques. Yesterday, she wrote "Second Person" poetry, where you write directly to a person, using the pronoun you. 

I had been messing around with a poem about my dad, and it wasn't really working. I tried second person, and the whole thing kind of fell into place. I planned to start another poem about my mom (at one point I thought they would both be in the same poem, but it got too long and tangled), so I wrote another one for her. And then Amy's technique for today is free verse, which is pretty much the only kind of poems I ever write, so it worked perfectly.  Here's the poem for my mom.

"Reading Roots"
To Mom
You must have read to us.
The covers of Ping, Kiki Dances,
and Angus are worn and well-loved
but I do not remember
the sound of your voice reading.

I do remember
you dressed in sleeveless nightgown,
pastel pink or blue, flowered,
climbing into bed,
book in hand,
before eight every night.
You would prop both pillows
against the headboard
in the middle,
lean back on your throne,
sigh, and then begin
turning page after page after page.
My sisters and I were invited
to clamber aboard
only if we brought
our books and read.
Fussing, pinching,
playing under the covers,
even talking
could get us banished.

It was all about you and your book.

We could not
disturb you
when you were reading.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2018

Amy is hosting the Friday Poetry Roundup at The Poem Farm today.

11 comments:

Books4Learning said...

Love this memory of reading. Beautiful poem. You capture the moment nicely.

Tabatha said...

I can really picture your mom on her "throne," Carol, and you there with her, trying to avoid banishment!
Isn't it funny how *hard* it can be to write until you hit upon the right angle/form? Once you find it, everything comes together.

jama said...

Love how you captured that special memory in your poem, Carol!

Linda B said...

Fun to read how everyone remembers the reading aloud. I imagine she did, but once you reached a certain age, she was showing you what readers do.

glenda funk said...

This is a wonderful followup to your poem yesterday. I love the way writing in free verse contrasts with the rule to read and not act up when with your mom.

Ramona said...

Love these words from your poem and the memory:
"lean back on your throne,
sigh, and then begin
turning page after page after page."
I don't remember my mom reading to me, but I do remember my older sister (9 yrs. my senior) reading to me.

Mary Lee said...

Yes, a great companion poem to yesterday's. So important to be launched as a reader by parents who read. Both of my parents were voracious readers, but like you, I can't remember being read to...except for our Christmas Eve tradition. We got to open ONE package (always new pajamas). Then, dressed in a soft, warm, new flannel nightgown, I sat (with brother, dressed in whatever new PJs he got) at my parents feet while Dad read The Night Before Christmas and Mom read the Christmas story from the Bible. I can still hear each of their voices inside those two texts.

Kiesha Shepard said...

I love this title, and it's such a beautiful poem with detailed descriptions of a beloved memory!

Cathy said...

This made me laugh. My mom was a reader. We used to wait until she'd settle in on the couch with her book. Once she was thoroughly entranced, we could ask her anything. We'd get a yes for just about any scheme we were planning just so she could get back to that book. I can still picture her, on the couch with her book.

Kay said...

This is a beautiful poem to capture a memory. I can see your mother on her throne of pillows and all of you lost in your own books.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

Oh what a lovely, loving memory. Keep this one with your family treasures...it is one. xx