First frost is just days away now and my pond is going to sleep for the winter. The cattails are turning yellow, the frogs are silent, and the water hyacinths are dying from the cold. My three fish no longer come up to greet me when I walk by the pond to pick herbs from my garden.
As we were reorganizing the books in our library, the boys and I looked at picture books we hadn’t read in years. One of their early favorites was a collection of poems called Animal Crackers. The book couples Jane Dyer’s beautiful illustrations with traditional nursery rhymes.
In addition to the traditional nursery rhymes, there are also several original poems in the book including Eve Merriam’s Lullaby. Lullaby stood out for us because it was so different from everything else in the collection — modern and lyrical. I love the way this poem sounds when you read it aloud and so does Gearbox. One of his first words was fish and this was one of first poems he memorized. He still remembers parts of it almost 10 years later:
Lullaby by Eve Merriam
sh sh what do you wish
sh sh the windows are shuttered
sh sh a magical fish
swims out from the window and down to the river
lap lap the waters are lapping
sh sh the shore slips away
glide glide glide with the current
sh sh the shadows are deeper
sleep sleep tomorrow is sure
So I’m wishing my fish goodnight for their long winter sleep.
For more Poetry Friday, visit the fabulous Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids.