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Poetically Yours - They grow up fast

Photo provided by Susan Goldberg.

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week features Susan Goldberg.

Goldberg lives in Rockford, but she grew up on a small farm near a town in Indiana. Goldberg’s sister Jane taught her to read in a tiny school classroom--also known as their bedroom--before she started kindergarten. Goldberg said she briefly directed a grade school play, but that venture came to an abrupt halt when the actors complained that she was too bossy.

Here's her poem “Adaptation.”

First day of kindergarten:

Small pink backpack stretched across small shoulders.

First day of high school:

Battered black backpack flung over one shoulder.

First day of a summer job:

Canvas bag clutched with both hands.

First day of college:

Olive green backpack bulging with heavy books,

A water bottle jangling alongside.

First day of a real job:

Shiny black briefcase swinging to match each stride

On black high heels.

First day as a new mother:

Sleeping baby draped across one shoulder.

First day of kindergarten:

My child’s small hand lets loose of mine,

She dashes off, turns back to wave goodbye.

My hands feel empty.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.