Every month I peek at EthicalELA‘s Open Write prompts. Often, I try one or two. Sometimes I share. Trying my hand at poetry – even when many of my poems end up being only for me – has changed my attitude towards poetry. I liked it before, sure, but now… well, now I think I might be starting to get it.
Today, Dr. Kimberly Johnson chose a mentor text from You are No Longer in Trouble by Nicole Stellon O’Donnell and encouraged writers to share a vivid memory story with words & images, possibly in a prose poem. Well, I’ve never officially written a prose poem before, but I’ve got lots of memories, so I gave it a try. It’s not really a poem, I don’t think, but it’s poem-ish.
Someone – maybe Stacy – whispered the word first: snow. Eyes shifted. Heads swiveled. Then someone cried “Snow!” and old Mrs. Rish’s quavering voice could no longer keep us in our seats. 24 bodies tumbled towards the windows and flattened their fingertips against the frigid glass. But Mrs Rish believed that magic could not co-exist with mathematics: “Children! Sit down! You have all seen it snow before!” Spell-broken, children trudged back towards their desks, but I was frozen in place.
My teacher melted. “Oh yes. That’s right. Everyone but Mandy, back to their seats.”
For one day in fifth grade, fractals were my math and magic.