A Child Can Be … + The Poetry Friday Roundup



to the Poetry Friday roundup! I’m doing a self-service linky list today, so please add your link and description to the list at the end of the post.


So… you’ve caught me in a mushy mamma moment.

On Monday, my little guys will be off to preschool for the very first time and I’m all a-flutter about it. I’m thrilled for them, but I can’t seem to contain those escaping sighs. I’ve been spending some wistful moments with the baby pictures and thinking about all the little things that make up these two very different boys.

And then the other day, Laura Purdie Salas shared her Can Be… Nonfiction Project for Schools on her blog, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.


Modeled on her gorgeous books A Leaf Can Be… and Water Can Be…, the project guides students in writing their own Can Be… books — and I thought it would be the perfect way to write about my mamma thoughts. So here are the couplets I jotted down tonight at chorus rehearsal, with thanks (and possibly apologies) to Laura for the inspiration. (Click to enlarge.)


These are fun! I could go on forever, and probably will add more couplets as they come to me. And it just dawned on me that Laura’s Can Be… project is also a great tool for adult writers. If you have a poem or story topic you’d like to explore, I highly recommend giving your own Can Be… list a try.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I only have 72-ish hours left before my little fellers leave me, so I must go finish sighing on the fainting couch.


Now bring on the poetry links!




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See more poems in my poetry video library. 

“A Child Can Be…” © 2014 Renee M. LaTulippe, after a writing exercise developed by Laura Purdie Salas

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  1. Sniff! May this bittersweet threshold be an opening to all kinds of unexpected enchantment, for your little guys and you too. Your poem is a melter, and I love that it was inspired by this time and by Laura’s great books. I have 2 posts today – one at The Poem Farm and one at Sharing Our Notebooks – both welcoming the wonderful Irene Latham! Happy PF, and have fun welcoming them home. xo

  2. Are those the actual little guys?! How fun to see them fueling up for new adventures at preschool. May their teachers appreciate all that you have helped them become! (And check out my baby, aiming at adulthood in my post. Wasn’t she three last week?)

  3. Sweet Water Renee! (The sweet water is the inevitable tears…)

    Pretty soon you’ll have too much testosterone around the house–so enjoy those two dinosaurs roaring now!

    Love your poem…and Laura’s prompt. AND her poetry. AND Yours!!!

    At TeachingAuthors.com, we’re giving away one personally autographed copy of Goldie Takes A Stand, by Barbara Krasner.

    Barbara, by the way, was the semi-finalist in the 2013 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. We’ve linked to one of her poems, “Circle of Life”, on a site which invites poets and authors to submit their work about all-things Jewish.

    My post will be up Friday morning.

  4. Hi there Renee, thank you so much for hosting this week. Love Laura’s Can Be prompt – and your own mamma poem: the after-work greeter is so true for me. 🙂

    For Poetry Friday at GatheringBooks, we will be sharing poems that are in keeping with universes, the stars, the moon, the skies, the heavens, the cosmos from September-October. I did a bit of book hunting from my own bookshelves, and I rediscovered a picturebook that I bought several years back written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Steve Jenkins “This Big Sky” now up on the site. 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh. I feel blessed (and I don’t usually say mushy stuff like that) reading your Can Be… piece! I always suggest to teachers that A Kid Can Be… makes a great classroom group poem. (See page 4 of my teaching guide for Leaf here: http://www.laurasalas.com/pdfs/Leaf/Leaf_TG.pdf)

    But I haven’t actually ever seen a parent use this template to write about her kids, and this made me a little teary-eyed myself. My youngest is going off to Scotland for six months on Wednesday–and I’ve got all sorts of Can Be… lines floating through my head now. Thank you. The table-fort dweller and brother’s bear abductor lines felt so close to home. :>)

    I’m in with an excerpt of my current project, WHAT’S INSIDE, at http://www.laurasalas.com/blog/books/whats-inside-egg-pf/

    Thanks for hosting, and thanks again for sharing this!

  6. Oh I’ve read about so many people in their different ‘goodbye’ stages, off to college, my granddaughter off to kindergarten. Big steps no matter which age you’re talking about. Your boys are so cute, and I love what you did with ‘A Child Can Be’, plus sharing Laura’s lessons with her books. Wonderful! Thanks for hosting!

  7. I love your poem, Renee! My twin boys just started middle school a few weeks ago, and I have had some mushy mama moments myself recently! You are right to cherish every second of this precious time–it goes by way too fast. = )

  8. Renee, thank you for hosting and presenting us with a delightful original poem about your boys. It honors their characters. My offering today is a coupling of a student poem and my reflective thoughts about 9/11. My hometown ranked high in the casualties so each year brings thoughts of the horrific day.

  9. Oh, Renee, I remember those sighs! And I remember my youngest son’s first day of kindergarten, when I was feeling a little teary, and he squeezed my hand goodbye and said, “I’ll worry about you, Mom…”
    Over at The Drift Record, I have a link to three poems by Josephine Jacobsen, quoted in an essay I wrote for Numero Cinq magazine. Here’s the URL (and if it looks foreign, that’s because I’m on vacation in Oaxaca and my iPad is temporarily locating my IPS in Mexico!):

  10. Hi, Renee. Preschool is such a huge step! I’ll join you on the fainting couch. This year, my teens are both in high school and away from home much of the day. Sigh.

    Tabatha Yeatts-Lonske is guest blogging at AuthorAmok today. Her entry in my Summer Reads: Chapter & Verse series is a pairing of the MG historical novel THE BOOK OF THE MAIDSERVANT with a poem by Barbara Crooker, “Listen.”


  11. Love your heartfelt couplets, Renee. It’s always wonderful to learn more about your beautiful boys! Happy first day of pre-school to them.

    Thank you for hosting this week!

  12. Thanks for hosting, Renee! I love “sighing on the fainting couch” and will have to use that myself sometime 🙂 Your boys look very charming, I hope they enjoy preschool! Right now we are visiting my oldest at college for family weekend. Time really does fly by!

  13. Don’t spend too much time on that fainting couch, you might find you like the opportunity to nap!

    Enjoy your boys now–by time they go off to high school, you’ll be lucky if get to see for more than 2 minutes a day!

  14. What a heart-filling poem, Renee! A little something you jotted down during rehearsal? Geez, you just never cease to amaze.
    I have a copy of a leaf can be and look forward to getting Water Can be. Such beautiful books!

  15. Dear Renee – what a lovely way to commemorate this milestone in your parenting life! Enjoy those boys… and write more poems. 🙂 xo

  16. How about sending “A Child Can Be” to a parenting magazine . . . on Monday when the boys are at preschool? Think of all the writing you’ll be able to do now!!!

  17. You’re so funny, Renee, pretending to be a drama queen about the whole preschool thing! 😀 I loved Laura’s books and I loved your take on them with your poem. Once my brain is less fuzzy, I will take you up on your challenge to explore a topic in the same format.

    Hope your cuties enjoy their preschool adventure, and hugs for you, mama! xo

  18. Renee, someone once said about raising kids, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Enjoy every last minute of this weekend, and then enjoy some free time on Monday. What a wonderful poem!

  19. Gorgeous poem, Renée – and a special moment. So are they wearing a ‘grembuillino’? I was disappointed that A. had a little tracksuit for his uniform at Scuala Materna and so never wore one!

  20. Renee, love, love, love! Filled my heart with such squishy soft, feel good mush. I homeschool so never went through this, but reading that poem made me go through it in my heart. I know this weekend (and everyday) your home will be filled with laughter. That’s just who you are. Love the poem. It’s perfect. xoxo

  21. Beautiful poem, Renee! I especially love the line: “brother’s bear abductor” – too funny. This poem would be wonderful to pull out in a few years to share with your boys. Thank you for my smiling heart today.

  22. What a great combination you and Laura are, Renee! I love the “brother’s bear abductor”! Mushy momma moments can be both sweet and sorrowful and definitely plentiful on the road of raising our children. Your boys are lucky to have you capture it all in your poetry.

  23. The years fly by so fast. Your couplets took me back 25+ years to the wonderful preschool years at our house. Thanks for including the picture of your little guys – they are adorable! Now I’m off to check out Laura’s Can Be project. Thanks for hosting today. Squeezing in late, but it’s still Friday in the Northwest.

  24. Thank you for hosting and sharing your heart with us, Renee! Such a thrilling time — they grow so quickly and learn so much at this age!

  25. I’m jumping on that quote of Sylvia’s too. “The days are long, but the years are short.” That is sooooo true.
    Love your couplets! At first I read “round pebble kicker” as round pebble licker (I was on my iPhone) and it made perfect sense to me!

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