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Mrs. Worth, Joyce Kilmer, and Me

When I was yet in grade school, my teacher gave to me, a task I thought most surely would be the death of me. She ordered me to write a verse, in any style I chose, I will tell you right up front that at her words I froze! I thought long and hard on it, as any schoolgirl would, still coming up with nothing did something no kid should. There in my mother’s bedroom, stored on her bedside nook, I found my dusty savior, ‘twas mama’s poem book! I read until I found a poem anyone would think, was ok, not quite perfect, one step above “what stinks.” I began to jot it down, unaware what lay ahead, she’d ne’er be the wiser as my pilfered poem was read. As I wrote I altered words, for even I could see, with just a couple changes, ‘twould sound the more like me. The title seemed so boring, that I switched it as well, now she’d think this poem was mine and say my work was swell! Hot cheeked at her desk I stood, as her accusations flew, suddenly, I don’t know why, my mouth began to move! “This is really weird,” I lied, “as strange as it could be, that this guy Mr. Kilmer would write so much like me!” Sent home with a message, addressed to you know who, it explained “our” little problem and what I’d have to do. Red cheeked at the other end, I sat that very night, when suddenly words emerged and I began to write! Words floated onto paper, as I in anger vowed, to write something much better than “trees whose heads are bowed.” Mrs. Worth, though long gone now, I hope will somehow see, how her dastardly assignment set my spirit free! One thing to remember, should a harsh critique you read, ignore what isn’t useful, accept that which you need, never get discouraged if the kudos don’t come through, ‘cause even old Joyce Kilmer once had a bad review!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2007

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