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School Days

Sharing Stories

How "milky" is a Milk Thistle?

School Days

Funny how long-ago ABC days still are remembered,

exciting thrill of learning about Dick, Jane, and Spot—

discovery, art framed adventures—Little Lulu comics.

Her chums, and clubhouse sign: NO GIRLS ALLOWED.

One, two, buckle my shoe—three, four, shut the door.

Numbers, days of the week, months, made a calendar.

Patient teacher guided a left-handed student to print,

no need for circus contortion—twisted or curled wrist,

number two pencil nestled—light as an inked feather.

It might have been fall, or possibly spring, requiring

parents okay, sack lunch, five cents—carton of milk,

to take an educational hike, an outdoor exploration.

Class walked and walked, single file, to a picnic park,

on vacant lot corner, a tall solo plant, milk dribbling

down its stem—an exciting discovery to tell teacher.

I smiled as she showed the class the milkweed thistle.

In classroom, or outdoors, always new things to learn.

I can imagine my parents surprise when that night

I advised, “If we run out of milk let’s find a thistle.”

April Ryan is a timeless poet for our times.

SHARING STORIES is a weekly column for and about the 50 plus crowd living in the Puget Sound region. Send your stories and photos to ariele@comcast.net. Tell local or personal stories; discuss concerns around aging and other issues; share solutions, good luck, and reasons to celebrate; poems are fine too. Pieces may be edited or excerpted. We reserve the right to select among pieces. Photos are always a plus and a one-sentence bio is requested (where you live, maybe age or career, retired status, etc.).

SHARING STORIES is featured on www.northwestprimetime.com, the website for Northwest Prime Time, a monthly publication for baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those contemplating retirement. The newspaper can be found in the greater Seattle area and other Puget Sound locations. For more information, call 206-824-8600 or visit www.northwestprimetime.com. To find other SHARING STORIES articles on this website type "sharing stories" in the search function above.