Thursday, April 9, 2015


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

This year, Mary Lee has chosen the theme, "PO-EMotions," and is writing about a different emotion each day. She promises, "This year, 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 courage.

Courage: A Poem in Two Voices
(Dedicated to EL, the most courageous kid I have ever taught)

Been going for more than half my life

Started when I was five

Started when I was four.
Perfect attendance four of my six years.
Good citizen
and hardest worker awards
pretty much every year

I tried it.

I’ve tried it.

Took lessons,
every Saturday morning,
at 8:00
for two months straight.

One hundred eighty days a year.
Six years straight.

even one when it poured
and we all had to stand
under huge golf umbrellas
between shots

even after school tutoring.
and three years of summer school too,
when all the other kids were outside
riding bikes and  swimming and hanging out with their friends.

learned proper stance
how to drive
how to putt

learned the alphabet
comprehension strategies

I was awful at it
that person that always needed
extra help from the instructor

the eighth lesson
I drove to the golf course
sat in my car for a few minutes
decided I didn’t want to go
for one more day of humiliation
I went out to breakfast instead

every day I show up
and try as hard as I can
and after school I meet with Mr. L
sometimes he isn’t is his classroom
and I have to look all over the school
or have the secretary page him.

I quit.
I can’t play golf.
I have no hand eye coordination.
And I refuse to embarrass myself
in front of everyone else.

I know I’m not nearly
as good as the other kids
And it’s kind of embarrassing
when I have to ask someone
to help me read the math
and social studies books

I’ll never be a golfer.
I’m not even going to try.

Sometimes courage

showing up

every single day.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2015
I really want to read
like everyone else does.
I know if I just keep trying
I will figure it out 

is just about 

and doing your best


Mary Lee said...

THIS will be my Poetry Friday lesson! We will read this poem in two voices and think about all it says!

LOVE this!!!

Kimberley Moran said...

Courage is this. Showing up every day. I'm so amazed by the kids who don't shut down though everything is telling them it might be time to quit. Love thinking about this today.

Tabatha said...

Beautiful, Carol.

Kay said...

YES! Showing up day after day is what courage is all about. I love the two voices and how they play off one another.

Ramona said...

Love your two voice poem! A favorite quote about courage is similar to your words in the poem: "The courage that counts is the courage of the every day. Most of life is putting one foot in front of the other. Big leaps have received too much press."

Linda B said...

It's a "courageous" juxtaposition too, Carol. I have a student who'll be teaching a slam poetry lesson that will encourage her classmates to do a poem in two voices. She will love this as such a wonderful example of what they can do. Thanks for your creativity, too!

Laura Lynn Benson said...

And you are the most courage-full person I know, beloved friend Xox