...quiet, about a lot of things...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Poetry Thursday

As I have DRONED on, for two days....Time has been a Least favorite prompt. Too big. But, as the kindergarten teacher I now work with says...."this IS NOT a CHOICE". This is not how I would word things to almost 5 year olds...However, she does keep their little bottoms in their chairs..most of the time...except for my students...TRIPLET boys...all identified as special needs. Keeping those bottoms in the seats is my job....I guess. The poem that's in my head right now is about one of the triplets, always dresses in yellow. Has the most "LoUDLY" recognizable developmental delays. Coincidentaly, he is the cutest, most baby faced of the three identical triplets. Not really pertinent, I suppose...but I remember these things. So without further delay...my feeble attempt to PUT ON LISTENING EARS and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!

My Color is Yellow

carpet time is
too much
and boring.
the colors of the squares
blue red yellow purple
are too big.
they hurt my eyes.
sitting on blue when
MY COLOR IS YELLOW.
is wrong.
MY COLOR IS YELLOW.
and I'm fourth in the line.
You put me there.
You said it was my place.
Today, you say just get in line.
and Stop Pushing.
But I'm Fourth in the line.
You said so.

When MY TEACHER,
ok...my helper,
gets here, can I go for
a walk? I'll tell her
I hate blue.
MY COLOR IS YELLOW.
She knows.
She says you're her teacher too.
Who makes the rules?
You make the rules....

My helper wears skirts
She has blond hair
her hands are old
Her clothes are soft.
I rest my head on her knee
She whispers,
"When we are in school,
we Keep our shirts down,
and our heads up."

I whimper and close my eyes.
The colors are too big.
I miss my mom.
I want to go home.
She whispers
"Open your eyes.
It's almost time.
I promise."

I open for her,
She promised.
She hasn't lied yet.
The first thing, I see
my shirt.
She put it down for me.
MY COLOR IS YELLOW.

wlf 8:08 am



For the GOOD STUFF go to POETRY THURSDAY. Have a good time!!

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posted by wendy at 7:24 AM

7 Comments:

Have you been talking to my son? Sounds like he could be in your class.

Funny how kids take things so literally.

The repetition of "my color is yellow" works well here. This is one of those poems where I feel like I bring my own thoughts and feelings into it, adding my own layers to the work.

Nice job!

8/24/06, 9:25 AM  

This really moved me. You have really captured that sense of the wrongness through a child's eyes. And I love the tenderness between the child and his helper.

8/24/06, 11:33 AM  

I really like your poem and the hopefulness of it. Beautiful!

8/24/06, 2:33 PM  

arrrgh - I just lost my comment. Well, I'll try again here:

First of all, I have to say I love love love this poem, Wendy. The repetition of "MY COLOR IS YELLOW" is exactly how children often think. If you repeat something enough times, especially when things are not going the way you want them to, then you might be able to "make it so", make things go your way. You have so perfectly conveyed the kind of magical thinking of children by jumping right into the voice of this child. You totally NAILED the simplicity of a child's vocabulary, thoughts, feelings from the beginning. And not just the simplicity - but the rhythm, the way of getting side-tracked, the immediacy and here-and-now quality of childhood.

I love it! I can imagine/remember feeling exactly like that.

The way you have used all caps for the repeated line really works. In some ways, young children are so self-centered; their world inhernetly revolves around them until they reach that developmental stage where they become aware of other's feelings NOT in relation to them, but in their own right.... and the all caps (for me) works to highlight this, although there are many other levels of meaning in that line. You have done this in such a sensitive, gentle, subtle fashion.

There is also a tenuousness in this poem. Not a hesitation -- in fact, you dive right into it -- it seems to me like a fragile opening, a window or light threaded through. A love you have for this child, whoever it is.

Your poem is exquisite, Wendy.

on a side note (and then I promise I'll end this wordy comment) I'm glad you like Mary Oliver -- she's been my favorite poet for 20+ years. I got lazy this week with my PT post and shared one of her poems for the "time" prompt. Isn't she fabulous?

8/24/06, 2:59 PM  

i love how this seems to come
directly from the mind of a child...
i also work with a child
with special needs,
he is four...
and so much of what you wrote
came to me in his voice...

i especially found the
"i miss my mom
i want to go home"
sad and poignant and real.

8/24/06, 5:21 PM  

I love the way this poem has the capacity to bring you back, back in moments when childhood wasn't a memory but a present.

In the dawning of adulthood, when troubles became more complicated, we tend to look back and remember how "good we had it as children", never remembering the wrong in "sitting on blue when MY COLOR IS YELLOW".

I really enjoyed this take on the time prompt!

8/24/06, 6:04 PM  

Nice job of taking on the voice of one so small.

8/24/06, 9:16 PM  

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