“I might have instamatic flu,” claimed the young girl as her mother confirm her in in ~ the doctor’s office.
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“Let’s hope not,” she mother replied.
Instamatic flu. Instamatic…flu….
The indigenous bounced approximately in myhead.
“My mouth is wet, my neck is dry…” the girl claimed in half-hearted sing-songy voice as they take it achair in the waitingroom.
Her mother dropped akiss onto her daughter’s forehead in that way mothers execute to inspect forfever.
“Are friend going remote in your right eye?” she asked. The little girl giggled softly.
I confirm myself in and took aseat directly throughout from the mother-daughter pair. Istudied castle surreptitiously over my magazine. The girl leaned on she Mom. In spite of her sense of humor, she obviously didn’t feel well. The was her mother Iwas interested in, however. She to be perhaps the ideal age. Isearched she face, looking for alittle girl Imight have actually known once upon atime….
She smiled tightly in ~ me in that means that said, “What room you looking at?” Iwent back to mine magazine. Nothing around her looked familiar. The would’ve to be reassuring had actually she to be Terese or Bella or Jazmine…. It would certainly be comforting to recognize she’d made it come adulthood, had adaughter once she to be close come thirty and also adoctor’s office she could take that daughter to as soon as she to be sick. It’d it is in nice to recognize they had actually little mother-daughter jokes about asilly poem. The would’ve made mine day, actually.
Twenty years back Iworked in an afterschool program for children who had actually little poetry in their lives — metaphorically or literally. Their resides in and out of college were filled through “issues,” drama they no choose, and also “challenges” the made seasoned teachersweep.
Story time was hard. Everything to be hard. Iread come them while castle ate their snack. It to be the only time they to be quiet — they were constantly hungry. They had favorite books, yet Ican’t remember the titles any more. Yet Ido remember the Shel Silverstein poems. Castle gloried in the rhythms and also loved the size of his longer poems. Castle “performed” them — spoken word in agroup — when us were the end and about and you can tell the they felt favor they’d accomplished something after castle rattled off along storied city filled with huge words and silly rhymes.
We’d discover acouplet or for this reason aday, patiently memorizing our way through “the two-page poems,” together they dubbed them. They adored “Sick,” with its marvelous hoax at the end about it being Saturday. They delighted in “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would Not take The garbage Out,” even as they tried come outdo every other through tall story (I hope, however probably no in part cases) of the heaps that trash in and also around theirhomes.
We whispered poems when waiting outside the bathrooms, we jumped rope come them on the playground, us shouted them out in the park because that agroup that people that slept in the park. Building staff, police, bus drivers, old people, drunk people, and little babies listened to our recitations. Those children weren’t applauded for lot in your lives, but their ability come recite apoem en masse to be an impressive feat and they were celebrated because that it everywhere wewent.
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I didn’t understand other poets for kids then. I’d it is in so much an ext prepared now — we’d perform Langston Hughes, Jack Prelutsky, Joyce Sidman, Jon Scieszka, Marilyn Singer, Ken Nesbitt, Laura Purdie Salas, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alma FlorAda…
I wonder how many poems they could’ve memorized? Iwonder if they tho remember any of the ones us did? would certainly they recognize the indigenous instamatic flu if castle overheard it at the doctor’s office? If so, Ihope it provides themsmile.