Select Page

Poetry Friday

It was May 3rd and I was leisurely reading all things poetry shared by my #PoetryFriday friends.

That is when I came across Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’s DMC challenge for May on Today’s Little Ditty.  Michelle asked us to write a poem giving instructions to an inanimate object about how to do its job, an idea based on Elizabeth Steinglass‘s poem “Instructions for the Field.”

I was intrigued and in the mood to write something whimsical.

And so, I started out with some instructions for a swing (an inanimate object). But my thoughts turned to the tree. I love trees. And I ended up with instructions to a tree (which of course isn’t inanimate). 

Like that student in your classroom who tweaks the writing assignment directions to follow his/her writing heart, I posted my poem “Instructions to a Tree” on Michelle’s May 2019 padlet … even though it didn’t wholly follow her specifications.

And guess what!
On May 7th, Michelle celebrated my poem on her blog without a word about my misstep in following directions. {Thank you, Michelle!}

I wonder, in how many classrooms . . .

Would my poem have been pushed aside because I failed to follow directions explicitly?

Would I have been asked to redo the assignment?

Would my poem have been celebrated?

I wonder . . . ?

Instructions to a Tree

Make a branch thick—one 
that is low but not too low,
and keep it parallel to earth.

Let it grow strong so 
it won’t shake in a breeze
or bend in strong winds.

Then a man will come to you.

Don’t resist when he flips 
a heavy rope over your branch, 
the thick one parallel to earth.

Let him pull the rope tight so
it doesn’t slip with the weight
of a tire he will hang at the end.

Then a boy will come to you.

When this boy sits on the tire
pushing off with his feet to 
swing higher and higher,

You will feel the rope jerk
as he drops high to low, back 
and forth, and up… up again.

Be strong when the rope
twists and rubs. Don’t bend, 
no matter how great the weight.

© 2019, Alice Nine (draft)

This week’s
#PoetryFriday Roundup
is hosted by
Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
Poetry Friday Schedule
Jan – June 2019

I’m so glad you visited today,
and I do enjoy hearing from you!
Your reply will become visible as soon as I read it.