Thursday, February 15, 2018

Poems for President's Day

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Jone at Check it Out for Roundup.

Yesterday I shared the Michigan report, about last week's school visits in Grand Rapid's Michigan. Today I want to introduce you to a special student I met at Wealthy Elementary -- Skyler T.

Skyler presented Charles and I with hand-written copies of her poem "If I Were the President."
Skyler T. and me

It takes so much bravery to write something in the first place, but to SHARE it? With an author visiting your school? THAT takes moxie! Go, Skyler! I'm grateful to have permission to share her work with all of you. Thank you, Skyler and Principal Carlye Allen and Skyler's mom. :)

No matter how you feel about our current president -- or any of our former presidents -- haven't we all imagined at least once, what WE would do if WE were the president? Here's Skyler's poem, just in time for President's Day. Enjoy!

If I were the president
By Skyler T

If I were the president I would be so happy,
And when I travel to the white house guess what I would do,
I'd take a swim at the pool,
Then would take a shot at the bowling ally,
Next I would grow a tree of 100 dollar bills,
After that I would build a fountain for people to throw coins in,
and after dark I would colect all of that money,
Then I would have a sleep over with all of my friends,
we would jump on my bed,
untill we were dead!

Isn't that joy-filled and imaginative?! And, as it happens with poetry, Skyler's poem inspired me to write a poem:

Jumping on the Bed at the White House
- for Skyler T.

As my arms fly up
and my sister squeals,
I imagine the jumpers
who've jumped
here before:

wiggly Tad Lincoln
and FDR's terrier Fala;
the Bush twins,
and the Obama girls.

As we leap
and laugh and twirl,
it's as if there is
no war –

no sadness, no death.
Just me and my sister
in a soft-sheeted world.

- Irene Latham

Jumping on the bed at the White House... I am IN. As tragedies like the Broward County school shooting unfold around us, we need jumping-on-the-bed moments more than ever. My deepest sympathies to these families, and all of us, as we grieve. xo


  1. This is great that you have made a wonderful connection, and now a tag poem to Skylar's imaginative poem. (I always wanted to see the bowling alley, BTW.) I do love the jumping on the bed idea, smile at the idea of those far back companions like Tad Lincoln. Glad it was a good week for you and Charles!

  2. I love how you build on her poem. Both infuse a bit of fun in a trying time.

  3. How wonderful for Skyler! What a memorable time for her -- to be able to share with you, to have you celebrate her on your blog, and for you to write a tag poem to hers. Have a blessed Presidents Day.

  4. This is a beautiful pairing, and it reminds me how poetry ties our hearts together with silken ribbons. Thank you, poetwomen, for your words. I'll jump on that bed with you! xxooxxoo

  5. Yea Skyler! I love the joy in her poem--and in yours. Yes, we do need to cherish those jumping on the bed moments.

  6. Wonderful -- love the poems and the great photo of you and Skyler together. What a beautiful bonding experience -- poet to poet :). We definitely need more jumping on the bed moments. Besides the bowling alley, I want to see the movie theatre.

  7. A terrific pair of poems, transporting us to carefree fun! Thanks, Skyler et al. :-)

  8. Oh, how we need a soft-sheeted world. Love both of these poems--thanks, Irene and Skyler!

  9. Both of these poems are wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. How wonderful to have a pair of poems that lead us to feel a sense of joy and the happiness of life this weekend. We need more joy instead of sorrow and you and a child brought us that, Irene.

  11. "no sadness, no death.
    Just me and my sister
    in a soft-sheeted world."
    Thanks for creating this world Irene and sharing both of your poems! I'm glad for the levity in Skyler's poem, Children need this and so do us adults!

  12. I can't wait for Skyler to run for President, Irene! Jumping on the bed at the White House reminds me of a story I heard long ago of someone jumping on Emily Dickinson's bed at the house in Amherst. Imagine that! A woman I worked with many years ago grew up in Amherst. She told me her best friend's mom or dad was a caretaker of sorts there and when nobody was looking the two little girls jumped on the bed! How fun would that be and what would Emily say? -- Christie @

  13. Gosh. I needed that shot of childhood imagination. Its a flame in the dark fog I’ve been in...sad about death, sad about guns.....frustrated with fighting for good. Thank you. I literally lived these poems as I read them

  14. I'm almost always on the edge of tears these days. Your poem tipped me over, but it's sometimes good to let the tears flow.

  15. You're so right - we need those moments!

  16. Way to go, Skyler! We can all take such joy and comfort in the knowledge that our young people are set to create a world much better than the one we've left them.

  17. Love your poem and Skyler's. "A soft-sheeted world"--what a wonderful way to end. Here's to bed jumping and finding joy amidst sorrow.

  18. Yes! We never needed that soft-sheeted world and those moments of levity more than right now! I was just in a classroom this past Thursday and also felt honored by students who took me aside to share their own poems. It means so much to know that poetry is alive and well in the world. Thank you for sharing, Irene and Skyler!

  19. Jumping on the bed. At the Whote House. With us all reciting poems. What a great response to Skylar's poem. I bed she jumped for joy when she read your poem.

  20. Good for you, Skylar, for sharing your poem with your poet guests and with us! I like that your free spirit shows in all the fun things you think up to do at the White House. Irene, what an affirmation it is for you to tag Skylar's poem with your own. I'm sure yours and Charles's visit have inspired a new generation of poets!


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