Put a Poem in Your Pocket
by Tracey Finck, Reading Corps literacy tutor
Pockets are for portable treasures.
What do you carry in yours? Perhaps important things like keys, or credit cards or pictures of your kids.
We hear stories of soldiers going off to war with a letter from someone they love tucked into their pockets. Bilbo Baggins put the magic ring he found into his pocket to hide it from Gollum.
Most pockets are small, so you have to be choosy.
C. J. Heck wrote a delightful poem about pockets in her first book of children’s poetry, “Barking Spiders (and Other Such Stuff).” She gave me permission to print it here for you:
I think of all the things I have,
I like my pockets best.
Pockets hold just everything
(and they give your hands a rest).
I never know just what I'll find,
what special things I'll see,
to put inside my pockets.
These are treasures, just for me.
When Mommy's doing laundry though,
she says sometimes it's scary
finding rocks and frogs and beetles
and my spiders that are hairy.
I’ve printed out a copy of this poem and intend to carry it in my pocket on Friday, April 7. That’s the day Princeton Primary School has decided to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day. All the students and staff will come with a poem in their pocket ready to share it with other people throughout the day. Some people will write original poems. Others will find a poem they like from a website or book or family member.
Poem in Your Pocket Day originated in 2002 when the Office of the Mayor and the Cultural Affairs and Education Departments of New York City had the idea to celebrate April as National Poetry Month with one day designated for carrying and sharing poems. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the idea to all 50 states. In 2016, Canada joined the fun. The official Poem in Your Pocket Day this year is April 27 (poets.org/national-poetry-month/poem-your-pocket-day) so I plan to carry my poem both then and on April 7 for Princeton Primary’s school-wide event.
Find more of CJ Heck’s poems at Barking Spiders Poetry.com. I’d love to hear which poem you decide to carry in your pocket.
You can reach me at email@example.com. And remember to read 20 minutes today!
“A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write.” ~CJ Heck