Thursday, April 12, 2018

POEM #12- Gardener

My seventh graders are an endless source of joy and consternation. I so, so, so want them to be readers. I buy books and talk books and read books. And honestly, I have to drag most of them, kicking and screaming, to the reading table every single day. Yeah, there are at least three that are avid readers, and devour a book a week. And there are seven or eight more that love graphic novels and beg me, pretty much every day, to buy more. And a few series lovers- think Wimpy Kid, Nate the Great, etc. But most of my seventh graders are really not what I would describe as readers. There are, however, a small handful that are growing that way. And I wonder about them. How are they coming to a love of reading? What planted that seed for them? How can I best support them? This poem is for one of my favorite new readers.


You dart and spin through halls
dribble down the court
fly toward first base
a non-stop, middle school, moving machine

and yet every afternoon,
for thirty solid minutes
all that motion stops
as eye, brain, heart override
that endlessly active body

you stand on the diamond with Jackie
lose a half-read copy of Refugee
and beg me to find another so you can finish it
put dibs on a new book because you remember
the author visited our school last year
I watch and wonder

What gardener
planted that reading seed in your soul?

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2018


Ramona said...

Carol, this is beautiful! So many lines I love -
"a non-stop, middle school moving machine"
"you stand on the diamond with Jackie
lose a half-read copy of Refugee"
Guess what? I watch and know of at least one gardener who planted that reading seed in his soul.
"I buy books and talk books and read books."
You keep trying with those readers.
I'm loving your theme for this poetry month and your poems. Keep writing, Carol!

Mary Lee said...

Praise be to all gardeners, and especially to you -- a master gardener with a tricky urban plot.

Hmm...gardeners have plots...stories have plots...

Cathy said...

Carol, I believe you are a reading gardener. There are readers, there are nonreaders, and there will always be this group in the middle that could go either way. I was in that group in the middle. I remember the teachers who worked to feed me with books, and those were different than the ones who taught literature. I'm grateful to them every day. Some of us take years to bloom.