* NOTICE: Mr. Center's Wall is on indefinite hiatus. Got something to say about it? Click HERE and type.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Poetry VI -- A CHRISTMAS POEM (that just wasn't good enough)

Some years ago, I showed up at work--Saginaw Arts and Sciences and was greeted by a poetry request from the Saginaw Public School District's superintendent.  The holidays were approaching, and the district was preparing their Christmas card for distribution to teachers, staff, and various notables--whoever, wherever.  He asked if I'd be able to get a suitable poem together--assigned, written, composed--by the end of that day (yes, that very day) for inclusion in the card--a Christmas'y, holiday'y poem.  "Sure!" I said.

That day, early to class came to of my students, excellent writers both, Maureen S. and Hannah V.  We took to the white board, markers in hand, and composed our poem, which we all three felt strongly to be both pretty darn good as well as appropriately non-denominational, having drawn inspiration from a spiritual moment from Life of Pi and set it against our understanding of a style of T.S. Eliot.  We were proud of what we'd accomplished, and I dished off the poem:

I wandered late one winter night
in shadowed alley with peeking lights;
I walked still on and came to see
a darkened copse of black pine trees.
All cloaked in white, the branches seemed
in silken, feathered angel wings.

A shift:
and gloaming snow alights,
and lifts the spirit of the night.

Well, apparently the super didn't like it.  Not a word was said, but a couple weeks later, I got a suspiciously generic looking Christmas card in my mail slot in the office workroom.  I opened the envelope.  I pulled out the card.  There was a merry little pastel image of the Nativity.  I opened the card, eager to see our poem.  As I scanned the words there printed, there appeared suspiciously little ink.  I blinked.  I read: only "Happy Holidays," with his signature--scanned and poorly printed in a blue.


Oh, well.  Not the first time.  I still really like the poem.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


  1. I like it. Let me say, though, that I find SPSD's decision very odd. They go with, "Happy Holidays," but also show an image of the Nativity???? Umm... which holidays other than Christmas is that supposed to include? Typical.

  2. Oh, the many hypocrisies of Dr. D.


Be sure to subscribe to the thread to receive discussion updates.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...