‘Twas the night before the first day of school, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The backpacks were packed, the lunches and snacks prepared,
In hopes that the day, would dawn without care.
The children were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of recess, played in their heads.
And mama in her pj’s, and I in my shorts,
Had just settled our brains (I thought), for a short summer’s nap.
When out in the kitchen, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed, to see what was the matter.
Away to the kitchen, I flew like a flash,
Found the lights on, and my wife in a rash.
The moon on the crest, of the still water of our pool,
Gave the luster of mid day, to the objects below.
When what to my wondering, eyes was everywhere,
But dyslexia books and ribbons, and treats and shears.
With my harried wife knee deep in dyslexia books and paraphernalia,
I knew in a moment that school was not all cheer and regalia.
Exhausted and battle weary I knew ARDs were her bane,
And she cried and she prayed, as she called them by name:
Now Overcoming Dyslexia!
Now Proust and the Squid!
Now Dyslexia Advantage!
And Basic Language Skills!
Now The Shut Down Learner!
Now Language at the Speed of Sight!
Now Dyslexia’s Competitive Edge!
And The Power of Play!
To the top of the counter!
To the top of the pile!
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky;
So up to the counter top my wife’s hands flew,
Making pile after pile and tying them with ribbons too.
And then in a twinkling I heard her whispered prayer,
She asked and she pleaded as she tugged at her hair.
As I drew in my breath I know what it was she wanted,
Open hearts, open minds and her child not taunted.
She was dressed in blue pj’s, and had socks on her feet,
and her clothes were all marked with sharpie and sweets.
A bundle of letters she had flung across the counter,
and she looked like an underpaid grocery store sacker.
Her eyes–how they twinkled! Her tears, how many!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!
Her sad little mouth was drawn down like a bow,
and the skin on her fingers was as white as the snow.
The stump of a lollipop she held tight in her teeth,
and the scent, it encircled her head like a wreath.
She was tired and it showed but it didn’t matter then,
for our children needed her to keep fighting and to win.
She is a quick wit, intelligent, confident and stealth,
and I laughed when I thought of her opponents, in spite of myself.
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
She spoke not a word, but kept at her work,
and filled all the gift bags, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of her nose,
she sneezed, and finally from her chair she rose.
She meandered to our room, to our dogs gave a whistle,
And away to our bed we flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, as she wiped away her tears,
“Happy First Day of School to all, and to all a blessed year!”