Poetry for Children

with Robert Schechter

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¡Sí, Se Puede!

No justice!

Under the blazing sun,

farm workers and their children

bend over in the fields,

picking grapes

from dawn until dusk

for pennies a day.

 

Listen up!

Dolores Huerta rallies

the farm workers

to fight for higher pay.

Bathrooms in the fields.

Fresh drinking water.

Safety from pesticides.

 

On strike!

No contract. No work.

Farm workers walk

off the fields.

Empty trucks.

Bare shelves.

Grapes rotting on the vine.

 

Solidarity!

Dolores puts on

a worker’s field hat.

¡“Sí, se puede!”

she shouts to the crowd.

Never give up.

“Yes, we can!”

 

Union Victory!

Higher pay.

Fresher water.

Still not enough pay.

Too many hours.

The struggle continues.

Her fight goes on.

Anna Malaspina is a children’s author and poet who often writes about social justice issues. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her YA verse novel KIKI IN THE MIDDLE is coming out in August, 2022.

Late Summer Nights

If the wind is right

when we go to sleep

at night, instead of sheep,

we count the sounds outside our window:

 

two neighbors talking,

street gravel pinging,

night critters stalking

the woods all around . . .

 

cormorants squawking,

evening frogs singing,

fishermen walking

as bats cross the Sound . . .

 

harbor boats rocking,

cricket wings ringing,

pine branches dropping

their cones to the ground . . .

 

If the air is light,

at our grandparents’ house at night,

we drift to sleep

counting the sounds outside our window.

Cynthia Grady is an award-winning author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for children and adults. To learn more about her books, visit her at cynthiagrady.com.

Skipping Stone

Beside the lake, one day I found

a nice flat stone — so smooth and round.

I flung it out and watched it hop

across the water . . .

                          skip,

                                 skip,

                                        PLOP!

Fine Feathered Friends

They squawk and chirp and sing and hoot.

They gulp down fish, and worms, and fruit.

They dive and swim in icy seas.

They build their nests in leafy trees.

They peck with beaks and slurp with bills,

and sometimes perch on windowsills.

To sum things up, in two small words:

They’re birds.

Diana Murray has published over twenty children’s books including the bestselling UNICORN DAY series, and Junior Library Guild Selections CITY SHAPES and GOODNIGHT, VEGGIES. Her poems appear in Highlights, Ladybug, and many anthologies. http://www.dianamurray.com

School In June

There’s something strange about school in June,

When the sun beats down in the afternoon

And you know it will all be ending soon —

There’s something that changes in June.

 

And as much as I long to be out at the pool,

There is something, when teachers don’t stress every rule

And the tightly wound classroom begins to unspool,

That I love in these last days of school.

Coleman Glenn is a chaplain and professor of religion at Bryn Athyn College, as well as a contributing editor at Light. His poems have appeared in Light, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, THINK, and elsewhere.

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Valerie Mariya unsplash