Slice of Life: Lucky 11:11, My Cactus Garden and #Here4theKids

May 30, 2023 TwoWritingTeachers.org

Do you often see 11:11 on the clock? It is such a curiosity to me. It always reminds me of my junior high students in Granville, Iowa, who told me it was lucky. I never had paid attention before that. I thought it had something to do with Armistice Day, when the armistice ending World War I took effect on November 11 at 11 a.m. in 1918.

More than ever before, though, I am seeing 11:11 a.m. on my phone. (Never 11:11 p.m., for I am long in bed by then.) I’m spending way too much time on my phone in the mornings is the only explanation I can come up with. Is it a sign of being lucky that I’m retired that I see it so often?

 

Yesterday
Another morning this week

And on a recent trip, at the bike shop while my husband talked to the owner, I stared at the clock throughout the 11:11 minute. Then as I thought to take a photo, I caught this one. Look at that time: 11:12:01. Just missed it.

On another note, my cactus garden is coming along. (By the way, Kim, I neglected to answer you about whether there was a saguaro cactus in there. It is not a saguaro, which is much bigger in diameter and not native to our desert. I’m not good with the names of the cacti. I do love saguaros too; one of my favorite places is Saguaro National Park.)

I added the rocks around my cactus garden recently

Here are some Ocotillo stems I planted this week. They look very dead now, but I hope they will take root. See the tiny green leaves on one of the stems?

This is what it should eventually look like:

Image by Christine Kohler from Pixabay

This weekend my sister and I are going to Colorado to ask Governor Polis to do something sensible about guns.

Weeds

Our yard is choked with
foxtails and storkbills
Superbloom year
Dried out, they prick and poke
Our solution: weed the yard

Our nation is choked with
assault rifles and handguns
Superbloom of fear
Locked and loaded, they destroy and kill
#Here4theKidsActions solution:
Weed the nation of guns

Let’s start in Denver on June 5

Poetry Friday with April 27 #Verselove

Not Once
I taught for 22 years after Columbine,
And I have had to witness the gradual horror of
my country becoming
the only nation in the world
that accepts gun violence
as a part of going to school.

In Arizona, not once did we
practice for the inevitable.
We had just two lockdowns–
Once for killer bees in the yard
And again when a VP in a neighboring school
became an urban legend
by talking down an eighth grader with a gun.

In Iowa, there were no lockdowns.
For Austin’s hunting “how-to” speech,
He was asked to bring his rifle
to the principal’s office in the morning
instead of storing it his hall locker.

In Manama, the ancient-by-modern
capital city of Bahrain,
my students worried once
that America was going to bomb Iran,
but they never had to worry about
or practice for gun violence.

But now in this place,
it has become inevitable–
It’s a given:
Some American young people will die in their schools.
But all American young people worry and wonder.

They prepare, they lie quietly,
pretending an active shooter
Is in the hallway trying to kill their teacher
trying to kill their classmates
trying to kill them
with a gun.

Join tens of thousands of others on June 5th.
We are going to Denver to demand action.
We’re #Here4theKids.
Please join us.

Photo by @mrsdkrebs

I’m carrying this poem by Carl Sandburg in my pocket. Click the image to read the poem in text.


Today’s #Verselove prompt is “Place Tells Me to Be” with Chea Parton.

Today Ruth is hosting Poetry Friday at There is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town. It’s her 17th blog anniversary, and she has pulled out a chair for us to sit down and rest awhile.