Saturday, April 26, 2014

Our Wonderful World: The Polar Ice Caps

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.

The Birdhouse in the Sycamore Tree

The summer between 5th and 6th grade,
I fell out of the sycamore tree
that stood in the alley
outside the back garden fence.

There was a birdhouse in the sycamore.
I wanted to get it down.
I had climbed up to check it out
and the rope that tied it was weathered into a
rock solid knot.

I got the silver bottle opener –
the one with the shiny sharp triangle
for poking and prying –
out of the kitchen gadget drawer.

I climbed the fence and then into the sycamore
with the bottle opener
clenched between my teeth.

I remember the surprise I felt
when the branch broke,
but I don’t remember falling
or hitting the fence on the way down.
I came to with the bottle opener
still between my

My right arm was a different matter.

I began 6th grade,
already awkward and buck-toothed
with a full cast on my right arm.
I’m right handed.

And on the first day of school,
Mrs. Bonner,
cold as the polar ice caps,
made me pass out the Scholastic book orders.

I struggled with those tissue-paper fliers,
stared at and and snickered at
but stubbornly refusing to ask for help.

I can’t remember if I ever got the bird house
out of the tree,
but I’ll never forget how Mrs. Bonner
treated me.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

I couldn't bear to write about human destruction of the polar ice caps.  Kevin came through. He wrote a passionate ode to the ice caps that includes a fierce warning to humankind. Powerful.

Carol's polar ice cap poem is just as powerful as Kevin's, but in a "take you by the shoulders and shake you" kind of way.

Carol has an abecedarian for Victoria Falls over at Carol's Corner.

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