In Which I Cry With My Class Because Of A Poem

MY SKY

We were outisde
in the street
me and some other kids
kicking the ball
before dinner
and Sky was
chasing chasing chasing
with his feet going
every which way
and his tail
wag-wag-wagging
and his mouth
slob-slob-slobbering
and he was
all over the place
smiling and wagging
and slobbering
and making
us laugh
and my dad came walking up the street
he was way down there
near the end
I could see him
after he got off the bus
and he was walk-walk-walking
and I saw him wave
and he called out
“Hey there, son!”
and so I didn’t see
the car
coming from the other way
until someone else-
one of the big kids-
called out
“Car!”
and I turned around
and saw a
blue car blue car
splattered with mud
speeding down the road
And I saw Sky
going after the ball
wag-wag-wagging
his tail
and I called him
“Sky! Sky!”
and he turned his
head
but it was too late
because the
blue car blue car
splattered with mud
hit Sky
thud thud thud
and kept on going
in such a hurry
so fast
so many miles to go
it couldn’t even stop
and Sky
was just there
in the road
lying on his side
with his legs bent funny
and his side heaving
and he looked up at me
and I said
“Sky! Sky! Sky!”
and then my dad
was there and he lifted Sky
out of the road
and laid him on the grass
and
Sky
closed his eyes
and
he
never
opened
them
again
ever.

~Sharon Creech

Hate That Cat

Love This Book:

I could tell you that it’s a novel written as a series of poems.

I could tell you that it touches the teacher in me, the mother in me, the student in me, and the newly discovered cat lover (or poet!) in me.

I could tell you that it describes the way a boy learns to love his cat and his teacher and poetry and his deaf mother.

But, I’ll just let you read some for yourself:

a kitten

stumbling

out of the basket

and wobbling over to me

and crawling up on my lap

and licking my pajamas

and I forgot that I hate cats

as it crawled up onto my chest

and purrrrrred

and I was smiiiiiling

all over

the

place.

which is the end of the poem about receiving his kitten for Christmas, and then we come to this:

The black kitten

is a poet

               L  E  A  P  I  N  G

from

line

         to

                line

sometimes runningrapidly

somtimes s o o t h i n g l y  s l o w l y

here and there

 up

         and

                 down

d

   o                                     UP

      w                       UP

         n          UP

            and

in a silent steady rhythm

exploring

           all

                 the

             tiny

pieces

            of

                    the

                              world.

which is, of course, how the kitten moves.

I hardly have the room to tell you how he signs for his mother who comes to hear the poetry recitation, or the treasure of words he has in his room because of his teacher, who cares:

Thank you thank you thank you

for showing me all the books

of cat poems

and all the books that tell a story

in poems.

I never knew a writer could do that—

tell a whole story

in poems.

I already read the one by Mr. Robert Cromier

(alive?)

and next by my bed is

that dust book by

Ms. Karen Hesse

(alive?)

and underneath that one

is the Essie and Amber one

by Ms. Vera B. Williams

(alive?)

and on my bulletin board is a list you gave me

of so many poets

whose books I can read

and also on my bulletin board

is the funny poem-picture

of the cat chair

by Mr. Chris Raschka

(alive?)

and that poem

by Mr. Lee Bennett Hopkins

(alive?)

about growing up

to

be

a

writer.

I now have

a treasure of words

in

my

room.