Archive for March 26th, 2021

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
Poetry Friday is with Susan at Soul Blossom Living

With my student Chloe, I read the poem Small Kindnesses by Danusha Laméris. I learned about Danusha from a podcast from Poetry Magazine featuring her in conversation with Naomi Shihab Nye (who is also well-known for a poem about Kindness.) Ramona recommended it last week.

Chloe and I talked about all the small kindnesses in the poem. About this line, “…for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass,” she said, “You know, she’s right. Red trucks are the friendliest!”

In every school, the custodian is the person you want to know. The poem about small kindnesses reminded me of a custodian at one of my schools. She is always dressed in bright colors with a wonderful head wrap and mask to match. She calls everyone “Love.” When I told this to Chloe, she gave me a word list around the topic of sun from her poetry writing journal Write the Poem. The list included effulgence which we both needed to Google. (Effulgence is brightness taken to the extreme.) My poem uses lines from Danusha, the word from Chloe, and the kindness that I almost forgot to notice had I not needed something to write about.

I’ve been thinking about the way when I walk
the school hallways, it’s always the custodian
who speaks. Excuse me, I say as I weave around
her heavy trash bin
that squeaks, rumbles and roars.

She calls after me, Have a nice day, Love!
Radiant as the sun itself, her yellow t-shirt
and rainbow leggings light my path.
Even her scent is effulgent, shouting warmth
of kindness, a hug for my hurried day.

Mostly, we want to greet each other
with glowing smiles. To slip a scented flower
beneath the doorway,
like a spritz of perfume, leave kindness
on someone else’s path.

Margaret Simon, after Danusha Laméris
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

What small kindnesses are you noticing?

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