Monday, April 20, 2015

PO-EMotion #20- Wonder

April is National Poetry Month. Every year, my dear friend, and Poet Extraordinaire, Mary Lee Hahn, chooses a theme and writes a poem every day. She blogs and posts at two different places- YEAR OF READING and her fabulous new poetry blog, POETREPOSITORY.

This year's theme is PO-EMOTIONS. Mary Lee promises, "I will write a poem a day that either evokes an emotion, or uses an emotion word in the title or body of the poem. Her list of emotions is here. I'm joining her, at least some days.

Today's emotion is wonder.

"Wonder Bread"

When I was a little girl
we ate Wonder Bread
red, yellow, and blue circles
bounced across the white wrappers
of the two loaves
my mom carefully placed
in the grocery cart
every Saturday

I remember an occasional loaf
of rye or pumpernickel
but pretty much
it was always Wonder Bread
and I savored that doughy blandness
cinnamon toast for breakfast
bologna sandwiches with mustard at lunch
a slice of white on the side of the dinner plate
three times a day for eighteen years

it was not until 
i went away to college
and discovered
the rich brown seediness of whole wheat
that  i wondered
how anything 
so un-wonderful
could have been blessed
with the name 
Wonder Bread.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2015


"WONDER Revisited"

A couple of years ago
WONDER was published.
The book was about
a boy named Augie
born with severe facial deformities
homeschooled until he was five
and then enrolled
in public schools

Thousands of teachers
 read this book aloud 
and a whole new 
CHOOSE KIND movement was born
I read that book to my fourth graders
they loved it I and recommended it 
to lots of other teachers

and then I went to Walgreens
one Sunday with my mom
and the clerk was bent over
breaking a roll of coins 
into the the cash register
she stood up to talk to me
and the bottom half of her face 
hung down, not unlike 
a pelican's beak

and i was surprised
and i kept trying to look 
at her beautiful blue-gray eyes
and her smooth-straight 
waist-length brown hair
but I am sure she probably noticed
me trying not to stare
at her drooping jawline

and afterwards
I wanted to go back
and apologize 
for the look on my face
and congratulate her
for being so brave
to get up every morning
and get dressed
and go out into a world
where people probably 
registered that same
shocked surprise
that I did
all day
every day.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2015


Kimberley Moran said...

You write so beautifully. My grandmother served me wonder bread with margarine and white sugar on it. I still dream of that treat.

Kay said...

I love both these poems. We must have grown up in the same house with the Wonder bread. Your poem made me smile with the remembering. THe second poem is powerful--how you connect the experience of reading about Augie with your own real life experience.

Mary Lee said...

Your Wonder Bread poem made me laugh, and your Wonder book (in the real world) poem made me cry.

So much truth in one word.

Steve Peterson said...

These are both fascinating poems to me. Wonder Bread was such an interesting way to show how we change over time, how our worlds expand when we make our own choices. I really like that last stanza.

Wonder Revisted was powerful. I loved how, even though you had thought a lot about the issues that the book brought up, the interaction was still difficult, which seems oh-so honest to me. Thank you so much for these.

Linda B said...

We did like that Wonder bread, didn't we? Ignorance is bliss? The other poem is so poignant. We read books like Wonder & think that we believe that, would be fine doing the right thing, but then the unthinkable happens as you described so eloquently, & we are caught between our terrible stereotypes and our beliefs. Love your thoughtfulness, Carol.