Tag Archives: children

Poem of the Week: For All This


For All This

 for the victims and survivors of the Oklahoma tornadoes, May 20 and 21, 2013

It’s a matter of degree and distance and accretion, after all—
The objects, possessions, acquisitions, events, memories and conversations gathering
Under a roof, adding on to themselves, second to second, year to year.
In the kitchen, pots and pans, glassware, silverware, plates, cups, appliances.
For the rest, furniture for the living room, dining room, family living area, bedroom:
Sofa, chair, desk, bed, table, bureau, chest,
The accumulations of a household, the toys, the clothes, the food, the tools
And the family itself, again a matter of degree and accretion
Two people—a start—then the little one added and another perhaps
They grow and go to school and they grow.
And there are breezes, a matter of degree and accretion again,
They become winds and air masses which collide
Warm and cold, and the winds start a slow rotation
They turn and turn and turn
And coil on themselves. Mere wind becomes
A miles wide obscene ram of air a coiling snake
Crushing exploding bursting apart
All these accretions
All these possessions
The objects
The persons
The children huddled in their school
A tattered unimaginable horrid landscape
Of grief and loss.
It’s a matter, after all, of degree and accretion
Of which we are suddenly
And brutally

–Dan Verner

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Teach Your Children

Pre School Class

This is a picture of a generic preschool class, not the one I’m writing about.

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time around the preschool classes at our church. We moved the children from one building to another this past summer, and I worked at various jobs, mostly involving disassembling and reassembling furniture and also a fair amount of painting. I’ve continued to do various jobs around the preschoolers , and so have had occasion to be around the little ones as they come to school, as their teachers work with them, and as they leave at the end of the day. I am so impressed by the caring and patience of the preschool staff, led by Miss Stephanie (I’m not using full names for privacy). The teachers include Miss Lori, Miss Debbie, Miss Sara, Miss Tawanda, Miss Caitrin, Miss Lauren, Miss Bard and Miss Rachel. What they do with the children will make a difference for the rest of their lives. And this scene is repeated thousands of times across the county as caring men and women work with our smallest students.

Thank you preschool workers! God bless you and your students and prosper your work.

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March 4, 2013 · 2:10 pm