Thursday, September 21, 2023

Words to keep you company, voices that keep singing

Ordinary riches can be stolen from a man. Real riches cannot. In the treasury-house of your soul, there are infinitely precious things, that may not be taken from you.
~Oscar Wilde

Happy Poetry Friday! Poems about the extraordinariness of ordinariness today.

Tin Bucket
by Jenny George

The world is not simple.
Anyone will tell you.
But have you ever washed a person’s hair
over a tin bucket,
gently twisting the rope of it
to wring the water out?
At the end of everything,
dancers just use air as their material.
A voice keeps singing even
without an instrument.
You make your fingers into a comb.


by Tabatha Yeatts

In my daughter's dorm room
while she brings boxes out to the car,
I survey the walls:

           posters, album covers, 
                banners, event flyers,  
             paper butterflies, receipts, 
                 postcards, dried flowers,
            stickers, love notes,
               programs, flags, birthday cards

I pull the tape off the back of each one,
four sticky corners, 
slide them to safety
in case they are for a scrapbook
or a new room,

and notice, among the hundreds
of memorabilia, 
a postcard she made herself:

orange slices 
dangling in mid-air
with the words
I love you
I'm glad I exist–

lines from a poem 
she saw every day in April,
7th grade,
when I led arts programs in her school
and verses lined the hallways.

This poem, which became 
her favorite
and came with her here,

ferries words that will go with her
to her next room
and the next,
wherever that is.


Beyond Literacy Link has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!

Poem history: my poem was written during the Summer Poem Swap and given to Sarah Grace Tuttle.

(Another belated) addendum: The poem Elena likes is Wendy Cope's The Orange. Elena found the image on Pinterest and printed the postcard herself, but someone else made the image -- I like that someone else loved the poem enough to make an image for her to find. So much shared poemlove.


Bridget Magee said...

Thank you for the peek into this extraordinary ordinary moment in your daughter's dorm room, Tabatha. "I love you I'm glad you exist -" Extraordinary ordinary words I will take with me and share with my daughters, too. :)

jan godown annino said...

These heart tugs, Tabatha:

"dancers just use air as their material."


you were creatively there for your daughter in 7th grade & so the great span of time to end of dorm year being- there, creatively is heart muscle holding. XO

Anonymous said...

Oh, Tabatha, how very precious this post is. I love your gentle removing of each artifact and the uncovering of these poetic words that inspired her. Perfect words for college ending and her new beginning.

Anonymous said...

Oops, that was Denise! My phone is letting me log in to Google.

jama said...

Thanks for the soul nourishing poems today, T. Love reading about your packing up your daughter's dorm room, and the comfort and inspiration a favorite poem affords going forward.

Carol Varsalona said...

Tabatha, I enjoyed your post. It is a bittersweet moment when leaving the dorm to move into the real world. Sweet words stayed with your daughter, enough to carry onward. The ordinary moment became a heartstopper.

Linda B said...

Each one is a gem for keeping, Tabtha, as your Elena things, too. One line in Cope's poem (Elena's special one) feels like it speaks to them all, "As ordinary things often do". It's a beautiful post that made me relax, sit back, and smile! Thank you!

Tracey Kiff-Judson said...

Beautiful, Tabetha! I love the image of simplifying life by washing someone's hair. So relaxing and peaceful!

Patricia Franz said...

Talk about the extraordinary ordinary -- stumbling on a love poem from your daughter to herself! Big, big sigh from here. Your poem tells me there is a LOT of good in the world still. Thank you, Tabatha.

Michelle Kogan said...

Mmmm, ordinary perfection of feelings abound here–lovely. I remember and like "The Orange" poem too–such a special connection you both have with it. What a wonderful spider web and pic, thanks for all the treasures you shared Tabatha! 💙

Linda Mitchell said...

Tabatha, I know these bitter-sweet moments too. I never knew how much my Mom may have been reflecting such as this when I moved out. Your poem captures those feelings so well. Thank you for that. And, the first poem that starts with washing hair and the medium of dancers being goodness, so beautiful. Thank you for this post.

Janice Scully said...

Wonderful post, Tabatha. Things one might think of a insignificant at any moment can be carried with us for our whole lives, like that affirming quote that expresses such gratitude. I hope she has a great year.

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

Oh I love this portrait of bits of memorabilia on the dorm room walls.

Linda Kulp Trout said...

Oh, your post brought back so many memories from when my sons were your daughter's age. Beautiful post, Tabatha!