Saturday, April 13, 2013


Child Studying, Frank Douwes, Wikimedia Commons

 I'm participating in Mary Lee's Common Inspiration- Uncommon Creations month of poetry at Year of Reading.  Mary Lee, Kevin, Linda, and Cathy are writing lots wonderful poems, so be sure to go by and check them out.

Last week, I said it was hard to write about fly fishing, since I know absolutely nothing about it. Today's topic, books or reading, is something I do know. Very well. And at first I thought I would write about how mesmerized this little child appears by that book. But that seemed so cliche. Yadda, yadda, yadda. And then I thought maybe I would write about book-related cliches. But I couldn't think of very many. And then as I looked at the picture again, I started thinking about poverty. And the kids I teach. And how little exposure they have to books outside of school. And what a difference that often makes when those kids get to school (and when they take standardized tests).  And this is the poem that came…

"Treasure Chest?"

Some people say
books are treasures
but those people
rarely talk about
how some children
are filling
their treasure chests
with millions of words
stories read and reread
experiences real and vicarious
worlds known and unknown

while other children
sit on concrete stoops
in hand-me-down clothes
and mismatched shoes
not knowing that
one tattered volume
does not a
treasure chest

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013


Beverley Baird said...

What a powerful poem Carol!
It says so much about those that read and are book rich and those who lack for so much.
Your poem really touched me.

Linda B said...

So interesting to see your insight, Carol. I took it a different way, that one book can be a treasure, especially for those who have never had one. I liked how you did the comparisons, however. There is such a great divide.