Poetry Month Day 13: A Win for Standardized Testing

*Special thanks to S.T., whose gratitude for her time together with classmates together inspired today’s poem

Dear Standardized Testing,

Thank you.

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –
these loveys who miss one another

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –
these loveys who miss one another,
who have not been together

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –
these loveys who miss one another,
who have not been together
in this space, in actual human form,

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –
these loveys who miss one another,
who have not been together
in this space, in actual human form,
in thirteen months

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –
these loveys who miss one another,
who have not been together
in this space, in actual human form,
in thirteen months
so that once again they could play

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –
these loveys who miss one another,
who have not been together
in this space, in actual human form,
in thirteen months
so that once again they could play
and challenge one another to relay races

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –
these loveys who miss one another,
who have not been together
in this space, in actual human form,
in thirteen months
so that once again they could play
and challenge one another to relay races
and remember how easy it is to remember

Thank you
for bringing me these loveys –
these loveys who miss one another,
who have not been together
in this space, in actual human form,
in thirteen months
so that once again they could play
and challenge one another to relay races
and remember how easy it is to remember
how good it is, sometimes, to be a kid.

Relay races, stretch breaks, hang-out circles and general tomfoolery

This is also my post for the Tuesday Slice of Life challenge. Check them out!

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13 Responses to “Poetry Month Day 13: A Win for Standardized Testing”

  1. mgminer Says:

    So much joy in the reunions!

  2. Maureen Young Ingram Says:

    I absolutely love how you stand testing on its head with this – seeing a true silver lining, bringing students together! I love how you built this poem, structurally, increasing a line at a time. Thank you for this slice!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank YOU! You know, it’s funny – I think these kids now see this year’s standardized testing as the vehicle by which they get to play with one another. It’s like, yeah, we know we have to take these tests. But hooray! Because we’re back at school with our buddies!

  3. arjeha Says:

    This is a great format. I love the building block structure. There is a silver lining in every situation. You found this one.

  4. onathought Says:

    such. good. perspective.
    and also the form!!! Love the building blocks of this silver lining.

  5. Tim Gels Says:

    I have to echo the “silver lining” sentiment. Hooray for “general tomfoolery! (I love the poem, but commented on the caption…sorry!)

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Oh that’s OK – what’s great about the picture is that it was part of a short video I sent to their remote teachers. I think they, of all people, really needed to see that their kids were in a “good place” – in ALL definitions of the word…

  6. Fran Haley Says:

    “In this space in actual human form” – together – that is definitely a celebration even if it was the necessary (unnecessary?) evil of standardized testing which brought it to pass. Beautiful progression of lines. Such muscality in the repetition of “remembering” and that last one, such a zinger – I do hope they feel how good it is to be a kid. How we have all suffered from withdrawal, from one another…

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Yes, it has been ROUGH. And I know that the kids feel it just as deeply as we do, often without the means to understand or articulate any of it. But there they were yesterday, with their customary joy and excitement. It still makes me smile.

  7. Raivenne Says:

    I adore how you built this poem. It builds from simply smiling to outright grinning by its completion. Much like the joy of a kid, getting to be a kid again. I really enjoyed this.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! It really was so encouraging to see these kids – these kids that all of us have been worrying about and over for the last thirteen months – pick up with the same joy and love and exuberance they’ve always had.

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