My Kindergarten Class

Kindergarten (garden of children) was the garden where I bloomed.

I went down around Colonial Circle and two blocks east, past the school patrol at the corner and there was West Elementary School. The classroom was light and airy with large windows along two sides. A long child-sized table was lined up by the windows and little chairs where we could sit. There were no desks. (Desks were in the 1st grade.)

Miss Nelson led us in art and theatre. (Seems like I was always a star.) My self portrait hung on the wall and I sang “Where is pinkie…..” in a performance for the parents. Miss Nelson took us to the post office, a creamery, a train ride and the Bell Telephone Company. The phone company had an exhibit of the evolution of the telephone, right up to the phone where you could see the person you were talking to.

I didn’t get to go on the train. The day before, I slipped going up the brick stairs to my front door and cut open my lip. The teacher and my mom thought I would bleed on the train. No train ride, no Hollywood career, and I wouldn’t eat butter for fifteen years because we had shaken a pint of cream until it turned. I was sure it would taste sour.

experience base

creates spirit of learning

growth of the person

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Back to school in my memory with a dVerse prompt on school.

My Kindergarten Class

Condor

Standing on Navajo Bridge

I see two condors

on the cliff face they look small

great wings tucked and resting

Colorado River moves below

takes rafters through the Grand Canyon

hoping to see a condor

maybe a peregrine falcon

Our guide tells of the time

high on the rock ledge

temperatures so hot

fledglings died in their nest

Still I want to see a condor take flight

I want to watch it soar

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Nesting condors have been observed at Zion National Park and I am hoping that global warming doesn’t push them out of their nests too early. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9814501/amp/Two-critically-endangered-California-condors-spotted-near-Zion-National-Park.html

Condor

Staying Alive

Licking the batter bowl

mother didn’t know that it could kill us

sweet sugar egg flour

on our tongues

now verboten

she didn’t know those little pet turtles

(the ones in their plastic island paradise)

with salmonella all over their tiny prickly feet

could kill us

now verboten

mother didn’t know that our cotton pajamas

could kill us

when we fell into the fire

now verboten

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Dutch word verboten has such a nice sound to it. Verboten is German, verbose Afrikaans

Staying Alive

Peanut Butter Cookies

Mother made cookies. Peanut butter cookies. She would roll some dough in her hand, make a ball, and place each ball on the cookie sheet. With a fork she would crisscross each one flat. When out of the oven we ate them warm or dipped in cold milk. Every time I bake peanut butter cookies I do the same. I add more peanut butter but I roll the dough in my hand, press the fork and think of mother who loved baking peanut butter cookies for my sisters and me.

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NaPoWriMo prompt to write about a habit I got from my mom. I love making peanut butter cookies (and chocolate chip).

Peanut Butter Cookies

Coming In

My daughter loved the book of poetry Where the Sidewalk Ends. She took it to bed. Nestled in those pages was the line “If you are a dreamer, come in.” by Shel Silverstein.

I remember the dreams I had for me and I remember the dreams I had for you. Not just ordinary ones like getting a good grade in school or going to a fine university, living in a two story house or taking a trip to Greenland. Not the dream to be a poet or magician or architect. My dreams concerned paradigms, broader in scope than world peacekeeping or disarmament. I dreamt contentment for us all, lack of greed and pride, love of the human race, coming in together.

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dVerse prosey prompt on Shel Silverstein quote from his poem Invitation.

Coming In

Fantasia

Fantasia is Portuguese for costumes. When we put on a costume we enter a fantasy world. Before Halloween, I would bring out the sewing machine and make costumes for my children. One year they were unicorns, a shark and a penguin, Spider-Man, a green dragon (that won a best costume prize), a wizard and an alien. The dog wore a tutu.

Now my children are grownups. I find myself wanting to wear a costume, wanting to enter a fantasy. As soon as I finish writing, I will bring out the sewing machine and go make my fantasia.

let go of myself

find a place where I can dream

a different world

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dVerse haibun prompt on Halloween

Fantasia

Wings

It was the first death I could remember—-my father’s father, my grandfather. It came as a surprise, an aneurysm, as the family sped on the highway trying to get to the hospital. We were too late. I never saw the body.

How could I make sense of death at such a young age?

When we returned home, I picked the butterflies off of the grill of the car. These were dead, their soft bodies smashed, the wings intact. I took those colorful wings to the garden across the street. I sat under the overgrown asparagus in the corner of Laird’s garden and buried the butterflies one by one.

life is a flicker

mind what is most beautiful

pathway to the rest

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dVerse prompt on how nature plays into our lives. This is a haibun about a death and how nature played a role in how I dealt with that death. I was six years old and loved butterflies.

Wings

When I Think About Rooms

When I think about rooms

the one that encompassed me

front door corridor

entryway

dark hardwood door

no windows

rarely used

darker in its none use

where no one went in or out

(always the side door)

but this room

with its front door

that held a way in and out

held me as a three year old

who sat on the bench

with hinged top for boot or shoe

other side was closet

a closet rarely opened

such a small room

for my small person

remembered now

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NaPoWriMo prompt on describing a room remembered

When I Think About Rooms