Posts Tagged ‘memory poem’

I am participating in Ethical ELA VerseLove. On Saturday, the prompt was given by Emily Yamasaki, a teacher in San Diego. She led us to write a poem after things I have memorized by Maria Giesbrecht. To me, scent is a memory maker, so most of my lines center around smell.

Things I have Memorized (randomly ordered)

The smell of coffee and pancakes on Saturday morning
How many turns and stop signs in the circle drive from Beechcrest to Sedgewick
Hum-buzz of a hummer at the feeder
First words
Stench of our house after the flood
Sparkle of diamond
Scent of his cheek on the pillow
Honeysuckle, Sweet olive, and Aunt Alabel’s perfume
Recipe for cornbread dressing
My childhood phone number (956-2526)
The Lord’s Prayer, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and Itsy Bitsy Spider

Margaret Simon, draft
Hummingbird at the feeder in my backyard. Taken August 30th. Photo by Margaret Simon

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

I discovered Ethical ELA a year ago. This community has been such a blessing to my writing life. Today begins another 5 day open write and the prompt is from Kim Johnson. I highly recommend you check it out. It’s another community, like TWT, that supports a writing life of teachers with encouragement.

A year ago today, life suddenly changed. At first none of us believed that the virus would shut us down for more than a year and take so many lives. But my memory doesn’t go there. My memory of last March was a quiet announcement, a budding new life, my granddaughter (who is now a smily, healthy 3 month old). My daughter had a miscarriage before having two beautiful healthy births. That loss clouded her joy over a positive pregnancy test. This is the memory that rises for me today. This is what I wrote for the Ethical ELA prompt, still very drafty.


On a March wind,
a virus swirls
much like an impending hurricane.
After my morning walk
and weeding, coffee in hand,
my phone vibrates.
Her voice, shaking, quiet,
“I’m pregnant.”
No ultrasound photo wrapped like a birthday present.
“I don’t know if it’ll take.”
New life is fragile
like the wildflowers, newly budding, blowing.
Gripping the phone, tears welling,
I am inwardly in prayer, fervent and furious.
Calmly, with a mother’s voice,
I say, “Congratulations.”

Margaret Simon, draft
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

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