Fittingly, the “Put a Poem in Your Pocket Day” comes right in the middle of poetry month. In case you hadn’t heard about either the day or the month, I’m posting today so you will have time to get your pocket poem ready for Thursday.
The day coincides with the third McGee girl birthday on April 21. That has nothing to do with pocket poems, but happy birthday to Gwyn, anyway.
I’m sharing the poem I have ready to put in my pocket to be pulled out and read during the day Thursday. It comes from Joyce Sidman’s Newbery Honor winning book Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night. I chose it because I have a beloved oak tree in my back yard. The tree has its flaws, and we’ve been warned since we came here that it needed to go. I’ll let you guess which tree was still standing after those around it fell to Hurricane Katrina’s winds and greened up nicely again this spring more than ten years later. In its honor and thanks to Joyce, here is my pocket poem that I will be carrying on the 21st. She calls it “Oak After Dark.”
As nighttime rustles at my knee,
I stand in silent gravity
and quietly continue chores
of feeding leaves and sealing pores.
While beetles whisper in my bark,
while warblers roost in branches dark,
I stretch my roots into the hill
and slowly, slowly drink my fill.
A thousand crickets scream my name,
yet I remain the same, the same.
I do not rest, I do not sleep,
and all my promises I keep:
to stand while all the seasons fly,
to anchor earth,
to touch the sky.
Joyce has multitudes of other poems in her other award-winning books in case you are short of sources for your own pocket poem.