While the year is still tiny as a teaspoon

My friend, Susan Grimm, is writing a poem a day for a month.  Susan gets up much earlier than I do, which means that somedays I am  lucky enough to find, first thing, the newest poem in my mailbox (not just me–our other writing sisters, too). Today she sent  one called “Things So Small They Don’t Need a Sentence”, and here are a couple of my favorite lines:

Reading five pages, writing one. (The pens I like that don’t have 
skippy ink.) 


My earrings from the poetry auction–green danglers, half-fingernails of leafy light–found.

This poem makes me happy for many reasons, not least of all that Susan is my friend. It also reminds me of a writing exercise I love to do with kids, which is to spread out big sheets of newsprint, set out a   basket of markers, then scrawl across the top something like, “Cures for Sadness” or “Things to Do When You Cannot Fall Asleep” or “Places to Hide a Secret Message”  and let the kids have way. Afterwards, it’s fun to make a group list poem and try to think, all together, of a good last line.

Here in Cleveland, January is cold and hard, silver and slippery. Out my window I can see the snowman the girl next door made. She had the brilliant idea to spray it with colored water, so he’s a blue man, alien and inscrutable. Whenever I pass by, I give him a nod, but he has yet to acknowledge me.