Yesterday, I was managing the chaos of checking out an insane amount of books my children had selected from the library when a little box of neatly arranged poems that were small enough to fit in a pocket caught my eye. I then noticed the sign next to the little box that read “Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 29, 2010”.
“What a neat idea”, I thought – it’s not everyday I see a box of poems for the taking in my small Midwestern town.
We moved on our merry way and while I did not take a poem, I enjoyed the few milliseconds that I was allowed to peruse the box and read a few snippets of poetry until my little person in the stroller let out a very-audible wail in the quiet evening hours of our local library.
Time to move on. I forgot about “Poem in Your Pocket Day”.
Fast forward to this afternoon when I was checking my email and found a message from “She Writes”, a wonderful organization for writers that is absolutely amazing. The message stated “Today is the last day of National Poetry Month, and The Academy of American Poets has proclaimed it Poem In Your Pocket Day. In honor of the day I’m calling on She Writers to print out a poem (or, gasp, write one down on a piece of paper using a pen), put it in your pocket, and unfold it somewhere lovely, like in the hands of a friend, on a park bench, in a grocery store aisle, in a cafe.”
I had no idea this was a national thing but I simply adore the concept. To pepper our world with words placed strategically around high traffic areas? It makes a literature-lovin’ mama such as myself go simply crazy with joy.
It was too late in my day to participate in this manner, so consider this post my “Poetry in My Pocket Day” – one day late and not necessarily in the manner they requested but alas, it’s still sharing poetry. And have I ever mentioned how poetic words sweep me away? Well they do.
The “She Writes” message also included a video of Naomi Shahib Nye reading her poem entitled “One Boy Told Me” in which she details various things her son told her when he was two to three years old. It’s only two minutes and so worth your time – it made my day.
Later in the day, I went to Sawyer’s room to rouse him from his nap. He is normally wide awake at the end of nap time but today he was sleeping peacefully. I obviously had been inspired by Nye’s poem for this is what spouted out from me this evening:
I hesitate to wake you
Yet I step into the doorframe
And stare at your sweet face sleeping so quietly.
It’s one of the few times you are still,
And you look completely at peace.
I sidle up to you and drink in the sweet smell
Of your curls.
You groggily flutter your eyes and
A slight grin overtakes your face.
You look like a cat stretching out in the
Afternoon sun streaming through your window.
Nap time is over.
I place my hand gingerly over your heart
And I feel the quick pace of it’s beat.
I want to leave it there forever –
to protect it from hurt or pain or devastation.
But I know I can’t.
I can’t keep you in this warm room forever
Though with all of my soul
I want to hold you close.
It’s time to wake up, my sweet son.
It’s time to wake up.