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JoAnn's Blog

Back to—Eeek!


I’ve always found back-to-school ads annoying. I don’t need reminders of all the things I should have done more of over the summer—camping, hiking, canoeing, swimming, and everything else outside. I’ll miss the long, leisurely—wait. Who am I kidding? For me, as for most writers I know, summer is as hectic as the school year. It’s just less structured.

This summer, like the past several summers, I’ve spent large chunks of time observing, photographing, and writing about monarch butterflies. I’ve gathered monarch eggs, protected them in a mosquito net tent in our backyard, and watched them hatch, grow through all their caterpillar stages, form chrysalises, pop out as butterflies, and fly away. I’ve propagated milkweed plants, given them away, and planted them in various sunny spots. It’s all research. And the monarchs need all the help they can get!

I’ve also crossed some significant tasks off my to-do list, volunteered for a couple of causes I believe in, and helped my handy husband with projects around the house. Now I face the regular schedule that teaching requires, along with the deadlines, planning, and focus on other people’s work.

And so I make the inevitable transition, slowly, plodding, dragging my feet until the moment when I can look ahead with enthusiasm. Classes begin next week. My syllabuses are ready and sent off to my students. It’s almost time!

Here’s a poem I wrote with that transition in mind. The Fib is a counted-syllable form in which the number of syllables in each line corresponds to the Fibonacci sequence: 1-1-2-3-5-8.

              
              Chrysalis

              I’m
              green,
              fluid,
              transforming.
              Forgive me. I’ll be
              ready to fly any day now.



Birthday Sale!
Instead of focusing on back-to-school reminders, I’m celebrating my birthday, starting now. (We do everything Early, as my family likes to say.) Write a Poem Step by Step is on sale (20% off! Only $6.39!) through October 9 if you order it from this site. Enjoy!

Poetry Friday
The Poetry Friday Roundup is at I Think in Poems.
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