Wednesday, January 20, 2010

rags

I wish I had a picture of my parent's "rag bucket" to go along with today's poem. It was a tall, narrow, semi-translucent plastic barrel stuffed full with old t-shirts, underwear and other scraps of clothing which had outlived their usefulness as coverings for our bodies. It is still, I believe, stored in my dad's basement workshop. When we made big messes as children, we were sent to fetch a rag to clean it up.

It was always a bit scary as a child. I would run barefoot into the cold, sparse room of my dad's, with it's rough concrete floor and single light bulb the switch turned on. The sub-pump is in that room, and sometimes it would kick on when I was there searching for a rag quick! and scare the beejeebers out of me.

I'm reading this poem by Valerie Worth tomorrow to my older two children in school. I'm amazed at her ability to create art based on little things we see or use every day without even thinking about it. Who knew that just by reading a few poems out loud to my children every week for school I could develop an appreciation for poetry? Sonlight did - and I'm grateful that they included all the small poems and fourteen more in their Core 5 curriculum.

rags
Stuffed away into
An old pillowcase,

Dragged forth again
In crumpled clods,

Torn to wash windows
Or tie up tomato plants,

Thrown out at last -
Poor sad gray wads

That once were faithful
Flannel pajamas,

Favorite pink-
Flowered underpants.

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2 comments:

Molly Sabourin said...

Delightful, Michelle! I loved your memory of the rag bucket. I can totally imagine being freaked out as a kid by that dimly lit room with the cold concrete floor. It's amazing isn't it, that literally any topic can be crafted into whimsical and memorable poetry? Thanks so much again for participating in Poetry Wednesdays!

Luke said...

We had a rag basket in our hall closet. Used primarily for dusting.

~Luke