Saturday, April 30, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Poem the Last!- An Abecedarian of Wonderments

Finally, the last poem!!! This has been one of the hardest April Poetry Months I think I have ever done.I just didn't have anything to say. Every night I struggled and procrastinated and tried to decide whether I should just quit. I kept going, but I wrote lots of embarrassingly bad poetry. Oh well, I tried. 

Poem the last is an Abecedarian.

"An Abecedarian of Wonderments"

Always keep you heart open

Because you are bound to be blessed by baseball sunsets,

Coffee and companionship,

Dogs, always dogs, and deliciously yellow daffodils.

Entendiendo en español,

Fellowship and friends, flair pens too,

Grandbabies, even if they aren’t exactly blood,

Hamburgers with crispy french fries, and calories removed,

Ice cream, preferably soft serve chocolate and vanilla twist,

Just a few extra minutes of sleep,

Kindnesses from kindergartners,

Laughter that lasts long,

Memories of moments,

Nice neighbors and new friends,

Ocean, all things ocean,

Pools, puppy kisses, and peaceful days,

Quietness of early mornings with time in the Word,

Read aloud and the rhythm of rain,

Sunshine dancing across shiny wood floors,

Tulips, turning the world red and yellow and pink,

Until they are replaced by purple and white iris,

Vast Colorado blue skies,

Walks in spring, just before sunset, 

Xtra minutes of light, or extra guacamole, 

You only need to watch carefully,

Zoom in, wonders will be waiting.

© Carol Wilcox, 2022


Friday, April 29, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Foundlings and wonderments- Poem #29- Friday night

Friday night. 
Friday night teacher tired. 
Friday night end of year teacher tired.
At 9:30 I still do not have a poem. Sigh.
A haiku will have to do. 

friday night tired

chinese takeout, walk, couch, book

half chapter read, zzzzzzz


Thursday, April 28, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Poem #28- "Lesson"

 Tonight a golden shovel. 


This has been a year of so much, everything

has spun, and turned sideways and upside down, has

dimmed and faded and lost its

color and it has been hard to find wonders,

or seeds of wonders, or to even

find a flashlight or candle to light the darkness

mostly there has been black and black and black and

silence and silence and empty silence,

and I have searched this frozen wasteland for small wonders and

I have scratched fingers raw in seedless gardens, I 

am trying to lean in and to learn,

to yield, to accept, maybe even to love whatever

might come from his strange and lonely state.

I suspect there are lessons to be learned in this emptiness, and I

know that even though they feel much larger then I may 

think I am prepared to handle, it will be

well, if I only yield and lean in,

perhaps therein

lies life’s biggest truth, simply to

trust that all will eventually be

well, if we seek nothing but to be content

© Carol Wilcox, 2022

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Poem #27- so much goodness


“so much goodness”

I watch her persevere 

arduously spelling word 

after word after word.

long after five-year-old peers

have left the floor and moved on.

she pauses at the scissor box

digs for a minute,

then turns to show me her treasure

“I choose red,” she says,

“because that’s my sister’s favorite color

and I love my sister.”

later I watch again.

most children are at centers.

some manipulate magnetic letters.

others build puzzles. some color.  

she does not go to centers.

instead she cuts inch-sized

squares for a phonics activity.

she trims edges precisely.

her scissors move slowly.

finally, teacher announces recess. 

“will you please cut the last three 

while I glue?” she begs.

“I just want to play outside

 for a little while.” 

Today I am bent over

yet another endless phonics worksheet

helping one of my little guys

copy sixteen three syllable words.

I feel a head resting on my back

and I peek out of the corner of my eye.

"I just love you," she says.

"I just love you."

and I wonder what I ever did to deserve

so much goodness....

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2022

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Poem #26- Recipe for a happy dog

 "Recipe for a happy dog"

Cuddles with Mama,

Kisses from brother,

Romps with a friend.

Hard brushing,

Hole to dig,

Car rides,

A short walk,

A long walk,

The possibility of a walk.

A tennis ball,

A tug of war,

A peanut butter bone.

Takes so little to make him happy.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2022

Monday, April 25, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Poem #25- Colorado Skies

 A tricube.

Colorado Sky

blue on blue 

on blue on

bluest blue

white on white

grayish gray

touch of pink

vast on vast

on vast on 

vastest vast.

(c) Carol Wilcox 2022

Sunday, April 24, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Poem #24- "We used to have rain..."

Tonight two tankas, stacked on top of each other

"We used to have rain…"

summer afternoons,

free front row seats for lightning 

matinees, pounding

thirty-minute deluges,

then glorious gutter splashing.

now, summer downpours

replaced by life in high desert 

endless days where skies do not yield

months of high fire alerts

where have all the showers gone?

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2022

Saturday, April 23, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Poem #23- A bad wonderment

 A little back story: This is a wonderment, but it's a bitter, bad wonderment. 

My district, like many others in our state, doesn't fund librarians, nor does it require  schools to have one. My school does not have a librarian, and hasn't for years, but we have always had a paraprofessional to help shelve books. This year, we don't even have that. Teachers are checking books in and out for their kids, but they don't shelve books, or straighten shelves, or set up displays, or anything like that. I can't stand that our library, which actually has lots and lots of great books, as a result of a lot of grants, isn't being taken care of, so about once a month, I go in and try to straighten it. It's not a solution and it's not sustainable, and the whole time I am there, I'm resenting it, but I keep going, because I can't stand that our library is so unloved. 

Tonight's poems are limericks--- three of them. 

What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education. —Harold Howe

A school once made a decision

To eliminate the library position

Great books it did have

but the library went bad

Clearly a complete lack of vision. 

There once was a school with bad scores

Whose stakeholders always wanted more

What they didn’t know

And what made tests scores low

Phonics rich often leads to book poor. 

A school its library did close,

Every time a slight need did arose

Meetings and tests mattered more

Then letting kids through the doors

And that's how their reading hearts froze.

Friday, April 22, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Foundlings and Wonderments, Poem #22- KINDNESS



Playground duty.

Her question, among sea

of flying hormones and bouncing balls, 

“How’s your grief?”

I look at her. My grief?

No one has asked for months.

People expect me to move on.

They do not want to hear that every night

I seek frantic handholds at the edge

of a deep and endless chasm.

Student needs attention and we move apart.

But all day I dwell in the fragrance 

of her sweet and unexpected question. 

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022

One of the biggest wonderments in my life is independent reading time. Truly. Even though I know it's crazy. This year's crew is a covid crew. They are loud. Bouncy. All over the place. Many of them spent over a year at home by themselves, or in the care of siblings, while their parents- construction workers, cleaning crew, restaurant staff- worked. Parents did the best they could, but there was not a whole lot of supervision. And it shows. When we started the year, I couldn't imagine ever getting this crew to a place where we could actually do independent reading. They just didn't sit still. Or focus. They didn't care about reading. Didn't have favorite authors. The first day I set the timer for six minutes. And that was a very long time. 

And yet somehow, over the course of the year, it has come together. Now, most days, we go about twenty minutes. And could go longer, if I could figure out how to make it happen within all of the other demands on our time. And it's amazing. I set the timer. Turn the lights low. Turn on some quiet music. And we all, yes, me too, read. And it's quiet. And calm. And peaceful. And focused. And they love it. And beg for more time. 

Today, two tankas, or two almost tankas. stacked.


In August, it seemed

unlikely, impossible. 

They squirmed and squawked, giggled

gawked, whispered, talked, guffawed,

No hope of retreating into books. 

April. Still squirm, squawk,

wiggle, gawk, but also settle.

Sink into seats, open books,

activate hearts and minds,

and read. Daily miracle.

© Carol Wilcox, 2022

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Poem #20- "Why I will probably never retire"

 I am 63 years old. I think I am supposed to retire soon. But I really, really, really love teaching. I love my sixth graders. They are such goofballs. Today, I went out to pick up my kids after recess, and when I came back, my scissors were padlocked, with a ransom note. The kids laughed all afternoon about that. I confiscated two origami swords, at least until after school, when a full-on sword fight ensued on the playground. And yet, in the same two hours, I explained a caste system, in Spanish, and then during planning time, helped one of my girls call her dad to tell him she really wanted to talk to someone about how sad she is feeling. All in the two-hour period after lunch. Phew!!

I am trying to use form to help me write shorter.  This is a nonet, 9 lines, first line-nine syllables, second line- eight, etc. It's hard. This one took me four hours!!!!

"Why I will probably never retire…"

I want to teach sixth grade forever

crazy kids pretend they are grown

I recognize imposters.

Silly jokes and belly laughs,

fidgeting fingers,

wide-eyed wonder

teary days



(c) Carol Wilcox, 2022

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Foundlings and Wonderments- Poem #19- "Friends"

 Trying to find a little wonder every day. Here was today's. Just a story poem. Nothing structured or fancy or profound.



featured guest

in the preK pet unit,

enjoys this gig

especially when he discovers 

a quarter-sized splot of yogurt

conveniently located on the rug 

exactly where he is supposed to lay. 

Teacher’s carefully orchestrated circle

immediately collapses

and Sweet Roo finds himself


in a sea of four-year-olds.

Ever the benevolent gent,

he accepts treats 

from twelve tentative hands,

rests his front paw

gently on Fi’s foot

and does not protest 

when Mateo lays his head 

atop of Rooney’s

for an eternity.

His smile is broadest, though,

when Christobel,

an avowed dog hater

who insisted two weeks ago

that I close the door

before she walked by my office

coos as she dispenses treats 

from a plastic spoon.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022

National Poetry Month 2022- Foundlings and Wonderments- Poem #18- "Even though..."

"Even though"

Even though every decision you make is questioned

And the technology doesn't work at all

And you find out you missed an important meeting

Then rush home from work to spend $200 on a plumbing issue

And discover that you somehow forgot to pay the utilities bill

And have to file for an extension on your taxes

And your leftovers explode in the microwave

The dog curls up tightly against your hip.

It’s comforting to know someone still likes you.

(C) Carol Wilcox, 2022