Friday, June 07, 2013

Poetry Friday: The Day After the Last Day of School



The Day After the Last Day of School

It's like you've been on a long hike
through deep mud
in boots that don't fit
with a pack that has gotten progressively heavier
(the weight was added gradually;
you didn't notice so much).

Then suddenly before you
there is a grassy meadow
a cool brook
tall trees and deep shade.

The pack evaporates,
the muddy boots disappear.
With the weight gone, it feels like you are floating.

You are very tired.
You lean back against a welcoming tree and sleep.
You dream of hiking.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013




Happy end of the school year to all who've gotten there! I hope your final gift was not the gift of one more round of the "class crud" (mine was).

Now comes "The Long Weekend." Time enough for friends and family, for reading and writing, for professional learning, for making plans for the next big hike (how to keep that pack lighter, finding boots that fit better, looking for a path that stays on higher ground...)

Tabatha has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at The Opposite of Indifference.

If you'd like to sign up for a Poetry Friday Roundup slot for July-December 2013, the calendar is here.

30 comments:

  1. I can hear your sigh with that poem, Mary. Enjoy the break, you deserve it.

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  2. Yes, Mary Lee. How very lucky are the students who had you lead their year-long hike. Have some trail mix and take a well-earned slug from your water bottle! Happy summering, friend! xo, a.

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  3. Exactly the feeling...a weight lifted. The Big Weekend is here. Unfortunately, I tend to overpack my summer backpack too. Writing camp next week will be fun but exhausting.

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  4. Just remember that on that long hike there were some moments that you shared at IRA that made the hike worthwhile. It's what I have to keep reminding myself as I climb up the hill of these last few weeks looking forward to that grassy meadow.

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  5. The punch line says it: You dream of hiking. (Still!)

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  6. That meadow is still two weeks away...but I'm heading there, Mary Lee!

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  7. You dream of hiking. Yes! Happy summer, Mary Lee. xo

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  8. Hoping you are leaning against a tree resting today, my friend! So looking forward to seeing you!

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    1. Sadly, I'm leaning against pillows, unable to breathe and hacking up a lung or two. Blasted crumb crushers and their germs...

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  9. Yay, you made it! Another big hike behind you -- you deserve some leisurely dreaming time. Enjoy your summertime reading and relaxing :)!

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  10. Happily, I have no idea what the "class crud" is, and by the sound of it, I probably don't want to! :p

    Your poem so beautifully sums up that feeling of exuberant lightness that many of us (teachers, parents, and students) are experiencing after another year's long haul. And your last line? Yes, that's the kicker, isn't it!

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  11. A Happy Long Weekend, to you, and all, Mary Lee. Your poem is a good visual for the teaching and learning journey. Enjoy the grassy meadows and shady trees.

    Sort of related, to the topic of journeys and learning--Did you see the video Amy Krouse Rosenthal made in tribute to Zach Sobiech? His song has been floating in and out of my thoughts ever since I heard it. I thought Amy KR's tribute was beautiful.

    You can find the video on her YouTube Channel under "Clouds" (by Zach Sobiech) and "Up" (by Pixar)

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    1. I put you in, but I'm not sure how this would work. I can't even leave comments, though I often want to! Email me.

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    2. Thanks for the video suggestion. Made me cry.

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  12. My favorite line: with a pack that has gotten progressively heavier
    (the weight was added gradually;
    you didn't notice so much).

    So, so true. We get out on June 18.

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  13. Yes, can't get that hiking out of my mind either! Hope you have a great summer!

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  14. Happy Hiking! (Well, hope you feel better first.) I'll bet teachers AND kids both nodded through that poem... thanks for sharing!

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  15. Yes! So true what you said: "You dream of hiking." It's as if it takes some time for the soul to catch up to where the feet have already arrived.

    I'm reminded of an interview with a Montgomery bus boycotter who said, "My feet are tired, but my soul is rested." Please rest those feet and lungs, Mary Lee, but also know that you've done good work. Happy summer (when it arrives...)

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  16. Sorry to hear that you are feeling puny, Mary Lee! I hope you get some good rest. Will continue to think about your hiking metaphor -- I'll bet it applies to other things, too!

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  17. Mary Lee,
    I hope you have wonderful dreams and wake up rested and refreshed!

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  18. The sweet peace of summer.... :)

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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  19. That just makes me smile. Happy Summer Mary Lee!

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  20. I wish I'd had this earlier, but will send it on to our staff. They will appreciate the words very much. Since I took over a class this last month, I am reminded of the extreme 'running' that those in the classroom do every.single. day. In my new job I am challenged and learning, but it is not the same at all as what you do each day. Your poem is priceless, Mary Lee. Thank you!

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  21. Wonderful thoughts! I find it takes a few weeks for the muddy boots to disappear. Hope the crud disappears quickly for you.

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  22. This is perfect, Mary Lee. Two more weeks before I can sit in the shade of a tree. Hope you have a wonderful summer!
    Catherine

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  23. Love it! Have a great summer!

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  24. Pack light and enjoy the meadow. Wishing you peaceful, dreamless sleep.

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  25. You've captured the feeling of the end of school perfectly! Floating and then that long awaited sleep. Of course, I guess this applies to teachers, not students!

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