Saturday, April 19, 2008

Poem 12: A Poem Regarding My Absence at a Book Challenge Hearing

This is a cross post with my school blog "Check It Out".

There was a book challenge hearing last night in my district. The book, Feed by MT Anderson, was the challenged book. I read it last year on the recommendation of a workshop presenter. Not my cup of tea but I can see how the book could resonate with teenagers, especially boys. The book had been at all but one middle school library as well as the high school libraries. The challenge came from a middle school parent. I did not go to the hearing. I am now sorry that I did not attend. I do not know that it would have changed the outcome. I was told that I would not be able to testify because I was elementary and the book was not in the elementary level. But I should have been there to support a colleague and I was not.

In the spirit of National Poetry Month(and thank you once again William Carlos Williams for your stunning idea of a poem of apology):

This is Just to Say

I did not attend
the book challenge meeting
which you probably
were wanting the support
from colleagues
and which the
audience was void.
It would have been great
to have
people present
who understand
the need
to have books
that engage
readers in higher level
thinking skills
the language
which can be heard
via a varietyof media formats;
despite the notion
that we may come
to live in a dystopia
one day
instead of a

Forgive me
I promise
next time
(and hopefully there
will not be a next time)
you will look out into the
I will be there.

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