Poetry Friday is hosted by Irene at Live Your Poem.
Tucked away in our attic, is a box full of picture books we used to read to our three kids, night after night, when they were of picture book age. I haven’t read any of these books in a very long time, but I could recite them all – word for word. I have a feeling that my children would as well…which is what happens when you are read the same books night after night, because you just have to hear these stories.
These early books, these beloved books, are deeply woven into the fabric of our family’s memories of bedtime, and the habit of reading before drifting off into sleep. These were stories of rhythm and rhyme, of a gentle world, and small moments: Goodnight Moon, Blueberries For Sal, Make Way For Ducklings, Madeline, The Snowy Day, and this:
Dad would come home after too long at work
and I’d sit on his lap to hear
the story of Ferdinand the Bull; every night,
me handing him the red book until I knew
every word, couldn’t read,
just recite along with drawings
of a gentle bull, frustrated matadors,
the all-important bee, and flowers—
flowers in meadows and flowers
thrown by the Spanish ladies.
Its lesson, really,
about not being what you’re born into
but what you’re born to be,
even if that means
not caring about the capes they wave in your face
or the spears they cut into your shoulders.
And Dad, wonderful Dad, came home
after too long at work
and read to me
the same story every night
until I knew every word, couldn’t read,