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Day 433 Paper Bag Poetry

Daily Note

Every day, a photograph, a poem. Today, while reading my Twitter feed, I found two paper bag poems from my friend Terry Elliott:

Read his blog poem here.

I decided to reply to both. The first was Terry’s memory of paper bag lunches at school. In my childhood, I could walk home from elementary, middle school, and high school for lunch.

Side One:

One hour

Three blocks home

No hot school lunch

No paper bag lunch,

Just a fast walk two blocks

under tree-lined Avenue D

turn right one block to Avenue C and home,

unless I slipped through the side yard 

at Hart’s apartments,

turning right at the blue morning glories

on the neighbor’s fence 

along the grassy strip

behind the landlord’s garage

to the back door 

and the wooden table

in our kitchen, sitting

in the same chair always,

the one blocking the pantry door

 just in front of the gas stove where

Mom scooped a bowl of

Campbell’s chicken noodle soup

to add to the P B & J

on white bread

for an easy lunch and a break

from school.

Note: that table stands in

my kitchen today,

complete with the worn leg

bruised from pushing in my chair

in Mom’s kitchen

to enter the pantry.

~ Poem from Memory, Sheri Edwards, @grammasheri

The second poem is finding oneself retired and now without all the daily teaching focus on helping provide the best and most thoughtful lessons for student learning and agency, which Terry was devoted to provide his university students, and which I tried my best to provide my middle school students. Finding oneself retired lifts a ton of responsibility, worry, and time: it’s a whole new world to fill.

Side Two:

And now I lunch

no white bread

1/2 whole wheat muffin

slice of turkey

Swiss cheese

spinach

horseradish mustard

responding to twitter poems

of connected friends

because I can:

I’m retired.

I can walk an hour anytime 

in our tree-lined neighborhood

two blocks to the park 

over a white footbridge

over Fiddle Creek listening to the songbirds.

I can read and write and draw and create,

learning more, relaxing more,

and letting go

of that which I cannot change.

And be grateful everyday that I can;

I can enjoy the rich conversations

and hugs of a loving partner

as we walk in the journey

of old,

old learners

still moving forward

to better the world as we can.

retired and still learning, Sheri Edwards @grammasheri

And that brought my photo and thoughts on today. In my pictures you can see on the left the table in my kitchen and my mom’s salt shaker with the Scotty dog, given to her by a friend because her nickname was “Scotty.” On the right you see my art in our couch cover. Past to present.

And so delighted and thankful to Terry for the inspiration, and hope that he will fill his days in his holler with more time to tend the farm with his loving wife and visits from his children. Stay safe, friend.

Paper Bag Poetry

Retired, learning art;

sharing, connecting, writing 

with paper bag poems.

Sheri Edwards
052021 14036521
Poetry/Photography

Sheri Edwards View All

Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts/Media Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker~~
Art from the Heart

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