The road to the American School of Abuja is dusty and hot, but inside is is very cool. The teachers, the kids, the parents. We arrived a half-day late due to the misconnection in Lagos and went straight from the airport to write with sixth graders in the library, eating Thai food in the car.
Imagine that it is four days before a big holiday and you
want to feed your family a traditional meal of goat and beef. You are the head of a large family; everyone
is counting on you. It must be a big
feast, a celebration, and your income comes from a bead shop
The introduction to Lagos is either a laugh riot or a maniacal debacle, depending on your level of jet lag and patience for paths to no where. The first passport check is as you get off the plane. Some guy at the end of the jetway flipped open my passport, stared intently at
school is an island on an island. Surrounded on all sides by walls with
rolled razor wire on top, the school sits on Victoria Island, part of the
seamless sprawl of 20+ million people that is Lagos. Teachers live within the
school walls in an apartment building actually
Wading in the first day.
Wee mistake on the airline reservation.
We arrived at 10:00PM on the night before our first 7:45AM
workshop. What part of “one day lost in
transit” we failed to comprehend is a mystery.
Luckily due to the kindness and efficiency of librarian Melissa Chifokoyo
Cave paintings are a perfect metaphor for Zimbabwe, both are
written in layers over thousands of years.
With a little Photoshop help, the layers become even more striking.
Hiking up, way up, something like 1200 feet,
I wrote this poem for my daughter Katie when she tried out for a play. She wanted the part of Peter Pan. She got the part of the crocodile! She also got a lifelong friend out of that little production and I think if you asked her, she’d say the experience was a
I was so excited that Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell chose my poem to illustrate a brochure about their fabulous resource, The Poetry Friday Anthology. In case you haven’t heard about it, it contains 36 poems for each elementary grade level so teachers can introduce a new poem every Friday all year
Pictured between reruns
and what commercials want to
explodes another war
in some far place
that I can’t spell.
war appears as broken bodies
and smoking gas,
It was a winter day in the late seventies. I had been struggling with the joyless parts of stay at home mothering and not particularly well. I wasn’t fitting in with my new neighbors, the junior women’s club, or
the corporate wives’ club. I didn’t play
bridge that well and I never could manage