Thursday, August 6, 2020

Thank You Note

Happy Poetry Friday

On Monday, school begins for me -- virtually, thank goodness. It's not safe yet where I live. Already, it's very different. I'm trying to enlist anxiety as a friend and use its energy for reading, weeding the lawn, cooking...all the things teachers do to fill their physical, emotional, and mental pantries before the school year begins.

What a treat that Laura Purdie Salas is hosting our round-up today at Writing the World for Kids. Thank you, Laura!

I'm also thankful for a rich summer poetry swap managed by Tabatha. Spending time making something for others really helped me keep some positivity in my days. And, receiving poetry in exchange has been super. 

Here's a bit of a poetry swap conversation...

Thanks be to Water by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

I was delighted to receive the above poem with some handmade treats from Amy this past week. Imagine my delight when I saw that she had taken one of my clunkers from July as a start. 

There really is only one way to respond to such a gift...don't you agree?

Thank You Note

Thanks for hands
that milked the goat

then made that milk
into soap

added rosemary

a hint of mint,

spoon of memory--
and friendship.

Praise for hands

that knit soft squares

made to wash away

dirt and wear.

Bless the feet

that delivered here
love-made gifts 

with good cheer.

To close this note
I also thank
the goat f
or munching on

weeds and grass
someone’s lawn
for giving milk
her part

in a summer exchange

of poetical arts.


Linda M. August 2020

soap & washcloths 


  1. Reading those thank yous make we wonder if it wouldn't be a marvelous time to have those students starting (no matter the virtual) to write through thank you poems. Both poems are lovely, using time to show the things we can be grateful for, the things that matter! Sending the very best of wishes for your start, Linda.

  2. I do love Linda B's suggestion. And both these poems. Look what you and your clunker inspired!😍 And now I want to write a thank-you poem. Thanks be to Water would be so fitting, as I am thankful for rain as I read/write this.

    Thinking of you all as you start back a new school year in all this uncertainty. Take care of yourself as you take care of others. xx

  3. Linda,You made me teary. Thanks be to you for being a poemfriend from afar, a friend who turns the alphabet into love. My best to you as you fill your pantry. Your students...including us...are fortunate. xx

  4. I love this poetry conversation--especially the idea of writing thank you poems. I think you have given me inspiration to get back in the groove of writing poetry. My thoughts are with you and all the teachers/students/parents as you begin this new year amidst such challenges. There just isn't any good answer, especially not one that works for everyone. Stay well.

  5. I love your poems of gratitude and I hope your teaching life goes relatively smoothly. Amy made good use of your "clunker" and your thank you poem was so lovely in its details, goats milk-making and soft knitted cloths. Thank you for sharing that!

  6. The give-give of the poetry swap is a beautiful thing to witness. Thank you for sharing Amy's gift(s) and your gratitude, Linda. Sending you all my best wishes for a great start to the school year. Though the connection may be virtual, the love and learning is real. :)

  7. This is such a rich post--from your ponderings ("enlist anxiety as a friend"--whoa! Yes!), to Amy's fabulous poem, to your thankful response. Posts like these spark optimism. And what a gift that is! Thank you both!

  8. Wow, these are fabulous! And I love the notion of using anxiety as a friend. Reframing our emotions can make such a difference!

  9. Love Amy's poem and your response, thanking the goats even. I hope your school year starts smoothly. Ours has been put off. Things are so bad here.

  10. Yes, thanks be to all those things, and to poets and friends! xo

  11. First, this: "enlist anxiety as a friend and use its energy." Then, this: "fill their physical, emotional, and mental pantries." And finally, your brilliant thank you poem. I am SO borrowing that for our daily gratitude checks this year. Hugs as you start your year.

  12. Yes, "Thanks be to water" a wonderful poem from Amy, and your rich response to her! I like your repurposing anxiety too–grand idea Linda. Sending well wishes for the beginning school year–but it's too soon, summer's still here…

  13. This is a double treat, Linda: Amy's thoughtful gifts and your swap poem to recognize the efforts.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!