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Poetry Friday

21 Sep

We have a new schedule that pushes our middle schoolers through eight classes a day on Monday through Wednesday, and nine on Thursdays and Fridays. By Friday afternoon, we are all exhausted, so I am opting for Poetry Fridays, low stakes lessons in which we examine a poem and students write one of their own. I am teaching two different poems , one in 7th and another 8th grade. In 7th grade, we looked at Another New Year by Janet Wong, and I challenged them to write a poem in couplets. In 8th, we were inspired by Roque Dalton’s Como Tu/Like You. With six ELA classes, I wrote six poems. Here’s one from each grade.

Back to School 2021

New schedule
Old room

45 students
Packed inside

Masks on

Backpacks full
Windows open

Door ajar

Familiar faces
New grades

Exhausted, sweaty
Middle School

Like you

Like you I
love walking under a canopy of trees
looking up
at the many shades of green.

And my heart sings
when I notice the first tinge of yellow –
signs of the changing season.

I believe the world is ever-changing,
moving forward,
in perpetual evolution.

And I hope
that this movement –
that I do not always embrace –
does more good than ill.

Randy Ribay

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