National Celiac Disease Awareness Day is one example of a time to ask questions to fully understand another person’s experiences and needs. In Dictionary for a Better World, the Try it! encouragement today is to ask questions to start a conversation the next time we are curious about a person’s experience, and allow their comfort level to drive the conversation. I couldn’t agree more – it’s okay to ask questions to increase awareness.
The poetry form introduced on pages 74 and 75 for the word question is a villanelle, which is a 19-line poem with two rhymes throughout, made up of five tercets and a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet recur alternately at the end of the other tercets and both repeat at the conclusion of the final quatrain. As I was writing this post, a redbird broke the silence with a tweet – and inspired this poem.
Heavenly Tweet A red cardinal feeds at my window Singing a song of praise That’s my mother tweeting a heavenly hello Fluffing crimson feathers, putting on a show Reminding me to be kind in my ways, This red cardinal feeding at my window Everything I do, and everywhere I go Honoring her legacy in all my days That’s my mother tweeting a heavenly hello She checks in from above on her daughter below As I make way through the maze This red cardinal feeding at my window She shows up to say I’m still with you, you know Yes, I’m right here beside you always That’s my mother tweeting a heavenly hello She brings me such joy, her halo aglow I smile through my tear-blurry gaze A red cardinal feeds at my window That’s my mother tweeting a heavenly hello
*During the months of August and September on days when I’m not participating in the Open Write at www.ethicalela.com, I will be writing in response to the pages of Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. The poems, poetic forms, narratives, quotes, and calls to action to make one small difference might be just the medicine my world – or the whole world – needs. I’ll be inviting insights in the form of an immersion into a 10-minute-a-day book study (just long enough to read the page, reflect, and connect). If you don’t have a copy of the book, you can order one here on Amazon. I invite you to join me in making August and September a time of deep personal book friendship. A few teachers will be following the blog and engaging in classroom readings and responses to the text. So come along! Let’s turn the pages into intentionally crafting beautiful change together.