Friday, March 16, 2018

Poetry Friday: Saying Goodbye

Unsplash Photo by Steve Johnson

Saying Goodbye

The storage unit is pitch black
The boxes 
are stacked right where we left them. I kick one with my shoe 
and wonder what I’m going to do with these boxes 
once I get them home. There will be new 
piles of boxes 
in our basement. I’d rather have you 
back than all these memories stuffed into boxes.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

This Golden Shovel was written for the March 2018 Ditty Challenge using part of a line of a poem by Devon Hope. I wrote it to remind myself that I can write in this form. (I wrote one last April for Malvina Reynolds.) I wrote it because of my poem-a-day challenge for April (coming up at the speed of time). When I began my "sort of a Slice of Life Challenge but not really" for March, I hadn't decided what I'd do for my Poetry Month challenge. I was talking to my students about the goals and challenges writers set for themselves and one of them laid down the gauntlet. Our classroom family has since grown from 29 to 30, so...why not. I've never in my career had 30 students (never again, please), so why not write a poem about each child? Never one to make things easy for myself, I've had each student choose a quote that resonates with him/her. 

In April, I will write a Golden Shovel for/about each of my 30 students using the quote they chose as the poem's "striking line."


Linda has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at TeacherDance.


  1. Anonymous6:15 AM

    Strong voice in this, Mary Lee. And go you, for the April challenge! I quite like what the golden shovel produces - but I'm not sure I'd want to write one a day! That said, I'm sure you can do it!!

  2. Guessing this is about your mom. I think the missing them never gets easier, you just get used to the dull always ache inside.

    Oh my gosh! Not only a poem a day, but a poem for each kid, and in a particular format, with a quote chosen by them. You really do like to challenge yourself. Or you might be crazy!

    I wrote a golden shovel poem today (actually will finish it later this morning, I hope). Right now I a feeling like I did when I was a kid and wrote acrostic poems or rhyming poems. They are pretty bad and don't usually make a lot of sense!

  3. You are an amazing teacher, Mary Lee. So committed to your kids! I'm happy for your students, and keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  4. Mary Lee, I am gobsmacked about your April project! To write a poem specifically for another person -- and that it should be a child -- is amazing! And to make it so personal as to use THEIR selected striking line? Oh you are one brave woman! It's like those amazing illustrators who live-sketch at events. I love it! xo
    p.s. I can also relate so heavily to your poem. Thank you.

  5. Your students must be so excited to think that you will write a poem for them, Mary Lee. That is so special, and yes, 'eep', a big challenge. I love your poem, heartfelt, touching many of us too. Those boxes sometimes stay a long time, waiting for us to open and remember more. Hugs for that!

  6. A lovely and nostalgic poem. Thanks for sharing. Happy Friday!

  7. Such a beautiful and heart-tugging poem, Mary Lee. But egads, what a challenge you've set for yourself in April! I could NEVER write a golden shovel a day. I'm going on two weeks to write just one! I hope none of your students are mischievous enough to try to stump you with their quote. ;)

  8. You always think of the best poem-a-day challenges. Looking forward to April! I bet your students will be thrilled. Nice job on the golden shovel!

  9. Mary Lee, that is a wow of a golden shovel. I like the repetition.

  10. What a great project you will have for your annual April salute to poetry, Mary Lee. I know that your poem for today is a remembrance. It is really touching. Have fun writing for each wonderful student of yours.

  11. What a wonderful challenge!

  12. After reading your golden shovel for today, I have no doubt that you're up for the challenge of 30 shovels! You go, Girl!

  13. Your poem today made me cry for you, Mary Lee...

  14. You are an inspiration, Mary Lee! Your Teaching Truths, your 'box' poem, and your upcoming golden shovel challenge...WOW all around. Thanks for sharing your journey. =)

  15. Gorgeous, heartfelt golden shovel Mary Lee–it touched home for me, thanks for your memories.

    And WOW what a tall challenge you are trying on–a golden shovel for each student, how lucky and fortunate they are!

  16. Such a haunting poem...and an audacious challenge for April. It will be such a gift for the students in your class. I'm debating joining in for the poetry fun in April. We'll see if I finally decide on something.


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