Poetry Friday:Every Day by Naomi Shihab Nye

Violet Nesdoly hosts  the Poetry Friday Roundup.present

Our classroom door burst open unexpectedly, right as we were in the midst of discussing how the ideas in the Declaration of Independence could be traced all the way across the ocean to the Magna Carta.  Three lovely young ladies bounded in, calling out joyously and enveloping me in  hugs.

Visiting alumni.

Once they were little slips of sixth graders, all pony tails and toothy smiles.   Now, they are freshman at an elite high school some distance away.   Once, we saw each other every day…now, we will make do with visits few and far between.  I am always amazed at the transformation that takes place in three short years – at the way my little sixth graders grow up and become young adults ready to take on bigger challenges in a wider world.

Visiting alumni…may every day continue to be a present.

EVERY DAY by Naomi Shihab Nye

My hundred-year-old next-door neighbor told me:

Every day is a good day if you have it.

I had to think about that a minute.

She said, Every day is a present

someone left at your birthday place at the table.

Trust me! It may not feel like that

but it’s true. When you’re my age

you’ll know. Twelve is a treasure.

And it’s up to you

to unwrap the package gently,

lift out the gleaming hours

wrapped in tissue,

don’t miss the bottom of the box.



15 thoughts on “Poetry Friday:Every Day by Naomi Shihab Nye

  1. Funny…I just finished reading a short bio of Naomi Shihab Nye from the Poetry Foundation website. A close poetry friend of mine first told me about her a few years ago, and since then I’ve always read her poems whenever I come across one. The one you share today is very sweet and very much how I feel about my life in the past year and a half since I survived cancer.

  2. Oh, Tara, I love this poem. I was just chatting today with a parent of one of “my sixth graders” who’s now a senior! Those alum visits are the best!

  3. This brought me such joy this morning. On this morning I decided to join poetry Fridays to give myself the present of poems on Fridays. You, too, are a present for me each day. I love how you love your students. Tis a gift to be joyful.

  4. Happy to hear of your “present”, Tara. Naomi Nye always says it just right, doesn’t she? Love “lift out the gleaming hours/wrapped in tissue”. Thank you!

  5. What a beautiful experience, proof of how much you’re impacting the lives of those “little sixth graders.”
    Also, I see you’ve changed your banner photo again. Tara, you choose the most gorgeous banners! I feel like I’m breathing in the cool air of a dusky autumn night with this one.

  6. A slice and a poem in one post–a double gift! I love the story of your classroom visitors and your choice of Naomi Nye to wrap up your post 😉 and get to the heart of it all. Thanks for the reminder to treasure every day.

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