SOL 18 & Poetry Friday: A Golden Shovel


I have lived in New England my entire life. Certain snowstorms are vivid in my memory. In the late 60s, a drift the size of a dump truck blocked our street for what seemed like days and we had to get fresh milk straight from the farm across the street. When we returned to school after the blizzard of ’78, the snow was drifted to the roof of our sprawling, one-story school in some spots. I even remember one winter when we didn’t have a single snow day until March. Then we had one every week.

But I can’t remember any winter that compares to the weather we’ve had in the past two weeks. Three nor’easters since the beginning of March have dumped almost two feet of snow at my house, and we’re on the lower end of the snow totals! Even though it’s still winter, the days are getting longer and snow melts quickly at this time of year. There was even a tiny hint spring in the air last week.

So when I reread the poems Nikki Grimes and Michelle Heidenrich Barnes shared for this month’s ditty challenge, this line, from Nikki’s poem, “Truth, by Tyrone Bittings,” shone out like a beacon:

a reason for a song

It made me think of a photo of crocuses blooming in the snow I’d seen recently and inspired this Golden Shovel:

© Catherine Flynn, 2018

Hope your crocuses are blooming, or will be soon!

By Meneerke bloem (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Please be sure to visit Linda Baie at TeacherDance for the Poetry Friday Roundup. And thank you to StaceyBetsyBeth, KathleenDeb, Melanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and each Tuesday throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

16 thoughts on “SOL 18 & Poetry Friday: A Golden Shovel

  1. Hoping for you and for those crocus, a lovely crafting of the golden shovel, before the next storm! I am sorry for the weather challenges. We’ve had such winters, but long ago. I am happy that it actually rained for a bit this evening. Thanks, Catherine, I also hope all your building projects are complete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, your shovel poem is so lovely, Catherine! I like the line you chose to use. I love the sound of peepers. Are you familiar with Joyce Sidman’s poem “Listen to Me”? It is about spring peepers.

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  3. This is beautiful, Catherine–both your golden shovel and the optimism that spring will arrive. I love the songs of spring peepers and have written about them before. Here’s hoping we hear their sweet song soon!

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  4. Simply delightful. I’ve not heard of peepers before. At first I thought tadpoles – but that trill has to belong to a frog… or a cricket! I wrote a golden shovel yesterday – but it was for my WIP, not TLD. Having taken so long to get back into this particular WIP I’m very reluctant to be distracted from it – even though I do love golden shovels.

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  5. Your post inspired me to reach out to my sister-in-law who lives in CT too and share your words. Thanks for reminding me of what you’re going through as DC hasn’t had any snow to speak of. Hang in there. Your warm words will surely bring on spring.

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  6. I’ve long loved the images of crocuses peeking out of the snow; although, I’ve never seen this myself. Your golden shovel sings a song of hope for spring. Our spring has been wonderful. I hope it comes your way soon.

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  7. I’ve never seen crocuses here in Florida. I guess that’s because it doesn’t get cold enough. But I do remember them fondly from my growing up days in New York, peeking through the patchy snow at this time of year. I’m so glad you chose a line that’s uplifting for your golden shovel. There have been many wonderful ones, but not so many uplifting ones. Happy spring, Catherine! Happy warm and peeper-filled days ahead!

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  8. I can’t imagine living in New England right now. You have taken weather hit after weather hit after weather hit! Holy cow! In Colorado the crocuses are pushing out big time this week and your poem definitely “hits the spot.” It captures how I feel every time I see a crocus, definitely “reason enough for a smile.”

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  9. Catherine, your poem is so lovely. I hope you submit it someplace because it deserves to be published. I also love the line you chose from Nikki’s wonderful book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, spring is coming–despite the loads of snow dumped on New England this month. Your poem is a lovely tribute to spring–especially those peers singing down in the pond. One of my favorite sounds of spring.

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