Looking for Omar
E. Ethelbert Miller
washing my hands without
soap but I'm still washing my hands.
I turn the water off
and look for a paper towel
but paper towels have been gone
since the first day of school
and it's June now.
...read the rest here.
I was looking for a poem for my son Buddy, who is starting kindergarten next Tuesday. I am thinking about how many school days he has ahead of him, and how many schools, and how glad I am that he is starting at the school where I work. It's a great school and not like the one in the poem at all. I wish every child had such a school.
I am thinking about the beginnings of school days, and the start of a new year, and all that children encounter in school. The way school interprets the world with all it's violence, hope, struggle and striving. On Sept 11, 2001 we were in our first full week of school and we didn't even know our kindergarteners very well. We had to navigate the shock of falling towers with little ones around our knees. This year we start on the surge of Olympic fever and the national political conventions full of hope and promise. My middle son starts kindergarten and I start back at graduate school in an online program. It feels like a good year to start the next part of our education.
In my search for poem for a Black boy entering kindergarten I found Maya Angelou's site Furious Flower.
In partnership with Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University, Dr. Maya Angelou, and the Target Corporation, the Poetry Foundation has developed curriculum for teaching essential African American poetry to students of all ages.What a great resource for teaching poetry with children! There is a list there with links to a poem a day for the month of April, National Poetry Month. The above poem by E. Ethelbert Miller is listed there. Check out the others here.
The Friday Poetry roundup is over at Charlotte's Library. Enjoy the long weekend!