This long Labor Day weekend was just the time I needed to clean out. Usually it’s a summer chore, but this summer I traveled quite a bit, so I put it off. In a month, my daughter is getting married. We are hosting the rehearsal dinner at our house. I want things to look nice.
Obviously, no one will be looking in my drawers, but I’ll know they are neat and organized.
Cleaning out also leads to memories. I found this Thanku poem written by Kylon when he was in third grade. I think he’s in 8th grade this year.
I was thinking about the little gems and memories today when I wrote poetry with my students. We were discussing Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Valentine for Ernest Mann and how poems can hide.
Note: Kylon wrote this poem, but Kieran was the boy who cried on the last day of school. Both were gifts in their own way.
Sometimes when you aren’t even looking, you find them,
tucked into the junk drawer, sticking out,
saying, “Here I am; Read me aloud!”
That’s where I found this poem.
I was looking for something else,
a roll of tape maybe,
but what I found was this gift
from that last day of school
when you cried into your mother’s lap
because you would never be in third grade again
with Mr. Pants, the class guinea pig,
or with that desk
that had become your sacred space.
Things change, Kieran,
but memories live on,
in the junk drawer.