First Snow #SOL21 12/31

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.

“I haven’t.”

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.

9 thoughts on “First Snow #SOL21 12/31

  1. Perfection! I love “flattened their fingertips against the frigid glass” and “But Mrs. Rish believed that magic couldn’t co-exist with mathematics.” Oh, and the perfection of “spell-broken” and that ending line. Wow!


  2. This is lovely. It’s the perfect way to be treated as the exception. I love the image of children having their hands pressed against the window. Their imprints look like snowflakes in my mind. My favorite line is “ For one day in fifth grade, fractals were my math and magic.” Wouldn’t it be nice if every school day felt this magical to every child?


  3. Oh my, this is so lovely and full of the wondrous feelings childhood. This poem transported me right there! You need to keep a book of poems, save it all and send to publish.


  4. Ohhhh!! I love your “poem-ish”! It’s so much more than that, and it reminds me of a scene in Angel Child, Dragon Child that I love. This part resonated: “But Mrs Rish believed that magic could not co-exist with mathematics”-so often this is true. I’ve sadly been Mrs. Rish when there is a thunderstorm, but then I realize that my students, living in Los Angeles, have rarely experienced a good downpour, with thunder and lightning and all. I’m inspired to check out these Open Write prompts!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I found them! So, they post each month? I saw that the last one ended yesterday, yes?


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