Poetry Friday: Black Nature
Poetry Friday: I Am So Sorry, Emily Dickinson,

Minerva Louise

Aleah and I sit at a little table outside her public-school first-grade classroom. She is one of my reading buddies; she was last year, too. First grade was a little too much for her, so she's repeating it. First grade was a little too much for several other classmates. Aleah likes to read.

We are looking at the cover of Janet Morgan Stoeke's Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs. "She's going to have an adventure," Aleah says. Minerva Louise is a hen. "Hens are the girls. The females. And the roosters are the daddies," Aleah tells me. I listen as she reads. We laugh at the endearingly mixed-up Minerva Louise, who thinks an Easter basket is a hat. 

Apropos of something, Aleah says, "I know how to say beautiful in French!" 

"You do?"

"Yes." She kisses the tips of her fingers, and says, through pursed lips, "Bee-yoo-tee-fool." 

Have a beautiful day with your books, too.


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Oh, she is JUST SO CUTE. I love how French and Italian must go with kissed fingertips.

I hope Miss Aleah has a good second try at first grade. I think it's awesome that the school held her back and her parents agreed to it; too many people have too much pride to let their kids repeat.

Gorgeous! When my kids were in kinder, year 1 and year 2, I used to go along to classroom and spend some time listening and reading with kids one-on-one. I loved it. you have the most interesting conversations!


I always enjoy reading your school stories. They bring back some of the happy memories I have of teaching in an elementary school.

I'm sure it means a lot to Aleah to have someone like you to read and talk with her.

That is a great story. Moments like those are why it is so very wonderful to work with children.

Tanita, Fiona, Elaine, and Adrienne, this little girl has such a joyful presence. I'm glad that she has a little extra time to get the harder parts of first grade down pat. I sometimes think of going back to school and getting a master's in teaching reading, but any school bureaucracy just might drive me crazy. I am fortunate that I just get to go and have fun.

I can't wait to retire so I can volunteer and just do the fun stuff!

This story reminds me of one of my fourth graders who tried to impress me with his French for excuse me: "Ess-Q-zay more". The "more" part threw me at first (I didn't even realize he was speaking French, much to his chagrin), but he loved knowing how to say moi with just the right nasality.

That is great, Mary Lee. The little moments in a day are often the best! Oui, wee!

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