A Poem for Your Pocket

Here’s a poem for your pocket.
Or it might be for your shoe.
You could tuck it in a mitten.
Any secret place will do.

You could hide it in your hat
or stuff it up your sleeve.
You can cram it in your backpack.
Please just take it when you leave.

It’s a small and smudged reminder
of something you should know—
I will always love you
no matter where you go.


I hope you’ll forgive me for the cheesy mom poem. I can’t help it. I am a mom and I guess that’s going to slip out occasionally. I should add that I wrote the original draft of this poem when my daughter was in kindergarden. She’s now graduating from 8th grade so perhaps I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.

This is the only poem this month that I didn’t write from scratch. (I did revise it substantially.) It’s been a great month. I’ve enjoyed writing every day (for the most part). For those of you who have followed along and commented or “liked” my poems on Facebook, thank you! It’s not easy writing and posting for 30 days in a row and I couldn’t have done it without you. Happy National Poetry Month!


©Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015
















The Globe

I spin the globe
with my fingertips,
reading wrinkled
mountain ranges
like a person reading braille.
I find the spot
that means home
and try to imagine it
on a real-sized planet
swooping through endless darkness,
part of a massive solar system,
and the thought
feels too big
to fit
in my head.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015














The Binder and the Piece of Paper: A Dialogue

I am a binder—
loyal and true.
I keep loose leaf papers
looking like new.

I won’t go in there.
Rings aren’t for me.
I hope I get lost.
I want to be free.

Free papers fly,
then they get tossed.
The depths of a bag
is where you’ll get lost.

I want to be useful,
my words should be read,
but the snap of your teeth
fills me with dread.

I swear it won’t hurt.
Quick! The day’s over soon!
With me you’ll be safe
(at least until June).


© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015











paper holder,
never let a letter
slip from place in your crisp cardboard


Yes, I wrote a cinquain about a folder.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015












Dear Desk

What do you do on Sundays?
Do you miss me?
Do you miss the busy clatter of our class?
Do you wish I was there
scooting in, scooting out,
my knees tickling you
under your chin?
Or do you spend your Sundays listening
to the humming night-sounds
of school,
remembering the years
you lived in the woods
a friend of sky
and birds?

A poem of address to the desk. What would you want to say to your desk?

© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015












the difference between
what’s important and what’s not–
yellow highlighter

© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015














A Sticky Note of Apology

Forgive me
for I have failed.
You wrote one word
across my face
and stuck me
to the door
where you couldn’t help
but see me.
I stayed there
focused on my goal
until the wind blew
through a window
(the one you left open).
Despite my best efforts,
and layers of pressure-sensitive adhesive,
I fell,
onto the saxophone case
still sitting
by the door.


This is what happens when you combine school supplies with forms featured by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.


For more Poetry Friday and a great explanation of what it is, visit Renee at No Water River.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015













Instructions for a Favorite Pen

Follow my lead—
first straight, then
hook, loop, and roll,
glide across the page
like a skater with sharp blades
on fresh ice.
Leave your mark
on my paper,
not my pocket.
Remember, I need you.
Don’t run away
in someone else’s hand.


© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015














Earth Day

I’m done with this desk
and tapping on keys,
looking through windows,
watching the breeze.

Today is a day
for dancing with trees,
singing to clouds,
and following bees.


© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015












Field Trip

Today our classroom is the Chesapeake.
The dock is our desk.
We read the water,
combing the pages
for blue crabs, grass shrimp, and plankton.
We stand on the map
we studied at school.
Diagrams we labeled
wriggle in our hands.
Our socks are wet.
Our hands are red and chapped.
We shiver in the wind
that blows across the bay
as memories nestle in our heads
like mud crabs among oysters.
Today our classroom is the Chesapeake.
Our teacher is the world.


We had a great day at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. We combed oyster bars for mud crabs and grass shrimp. We checked the turbidity, salinity, and pH of the water. We seined and checked crab pots and looked at plankton under microscopes. It was a great day of learning and we weren’t near any desks.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved, 2015