Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Poem #10 - Dad's Memory

Welcome to my 2019 National Poetry Month Project

Each day of April, I will write and share a new (first person, free verse, fewer than 15 lines not including spacing) poem. Taken together, these will tell a story about John and Betsy, two characters I posted about on March 22.  This will be new for me, and I invite anyone who wishes to join me in writing a collection of 30 poems that tell a story.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:

And's poem.

Bye, Bye Burger!
by Amy LV

Students - This month's poems will tell a story about John and Betsy, and all of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John's voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter (not including spacing), and each will be written in free verse. I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose 3 to work with over the next 30 days.

I have been longing to learn about the fun old times with Betsy, to learn about John's family's happy memories.  So today, I listened to John's father in my mind.  I asked him to tell me one of his favorite memories, and this is the one he chose to share.

Now, does an imaginary father of a boy named John truly live inside of my head?  Yes and no.  Not really.  But really.  Because, see, we can imagine anything - any person, any animal, any situation - in our limitless minds.  

I drafted and redrafted trying to make these lines sound like a real person telling a story, and I threw in a little simile and a smidge of repetition too.  See, we use similes and repetition in conversations.  And in poetry.  Here, writing in John's dad's voice, I played with both.

Each Friday of National Poetry Month, Heinemann has generously offered to gift a copy of my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS to someone who has commented during the week.  This book includes over 150 poems by contemporary poets and students alike as well as over 50 poem explorations written by me. I will keep track of comments and will draw one name each Thursday evening, to be announced each Friday of the month. To be entered into these drawings, please do leave a way to contact you along with your comment.  And...Heinemann is offering 40% of all poetry professional books throughout April...thank you Heinemann!

If you would like to learn more about other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow!


Please share a comment below if you 


  1. Amy,
    A shift in time with a look back....and a new character. Fascinating.


  2. A happy memory and I didn't cry today, but my heart still aches for this family. And I keep thinking about poor Betsy, locked up in a noisy kennel, away from the boy she loves.

  3. A shift to remember happier times, a bit of a relief. And it is a good voice, Amy. Still sad, but trying to help John. Thanks!

  4. Remembering those we love, a precious way to work through the sadness. I love "a world of winking fireflies," especially since I grew up with fireflies, but don't get to see them in the NW.

  5. Flashback to a fun family moment-good move to let us know that the family had loving moments with Betsy involved. Returning to the story knowing that the family is a strong unit and they are just a little poor now is going to be tough, I think.