Dreaming with Mrs. Maxwell


Margaret at Poetry Jam has given us the task of writing about something that bothered us about ourselves when we were younger that ended up helping us succeed. Or the other way around – something we thought was good that has actually hindered us. This is tough for me because I tend to think of my flaws as being ginormous & in desperate need of changing. Alternatively, I can’t imagine any positive thing about myself that isn’t for the best of humankind. Yes, there I am in a nutshell: insecure egomaniac. It’s hard being me. Heh. And I’m continuing to type as I try to come up with something to write about. Hmm. Well, there’s this picture here, which is the Magpie prompt. Perhaps that will inspire me?


Dreaming with Mrs. Maxwell

When I was a child
I often lived in
another world –
one where
nuclear elephants
grew wings and
were forces of good.
They solved many
crimes and the winged
elephants carried
me safely away
in my hazmat suit.

But then Mrs. Maxwell
rapped my small hand
with her wooden ruler
and I arrived firmly
back in first grade
reading about Dick
and Jane and that dog
that wouldn’t listen.

Mrs. Maxwell tried
but it never really took.
That rapped hand
has since written
many a dream.


Note: Mrs. Maxwell had discussed what to do with my mother before she used the ruler (this was in 1970 or so). When she talked to my mother about it afterward they both cried. I loved Mrs. Maxwell!

2nd Note: I probably didn’t actually dream about nuclear elephants when I was a first grader – that was more of a 7th grade daydream.

Comments

  1. I hope Mrs. Maxwell appreciated your lovely creative mind...

    ReplyDelete
  2. maybe she was tapping into your creativity. I, too, hope she appreciated your talent :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. ...I guess there is a Mrs. Maxwell somewhere in all our lives....love what you did with the prompt Bug!
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm really glad you kept dreaming your dreams!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like your hazmat suit, plus the rendering of Dick and Jane having a dog that wouldn't listen.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Maybe the age got mixed but it works!
    My mother never said a word to my teachers- it was in 7th or 8th grade when the Nuns wrapped our knuckles BUT GOOD! thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It was 8th grade, and the shop teacher who taught geometry, too, was the one who would "ding" us on the head with his big college ring. Hurt like the dickens. Of course, I was too good to get dinged. ;)

    I liked the poem. One look at that elephant and I went all empty-brained. I don't know what I would have done with it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. cracked me up...I love it
    Mrs.Maxwell...must have done something right

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm thinking you taught M Maxwell a thing or two! Terrific poem!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think Mrs Maxwell was jealous of the place you could go to

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wasn't it strange growing up in the '70s and worrying/dreaming about nuclear things? The threat of nuclear war loomed so large for me as a child, and now no one even seems to think about it -- probably a folly on our part, but at least the level of worry has diminished!

    I like that Mrs. Maxwell apparently had some level of sympathy for you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Its hard for teachers to teach imagination when they have a curriculum to go through. The whole education system seems designed to crush the free spirit.
    Apart from that, I'm following your advice and seeing if I can post a comment!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You surely turned the tables on Mrs. Maxwell.

    ReplyDelete
  14. fun take.

    childhood experiences could be divine.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bug, this is one of your best ever! Great job combining Jam with Magpies.

    ReplyDelete
  16. nice...if i had only written mine in poetry but we are on similar veins...that imagination has served you well...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, what to do with children who would rather use their imaginations than regurgitate rote, boring pablum? They were still hitting kids in SC in the 1990s-one of the reasons I left when I was planning to have a child!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Loved this, most especially that transition from the first verse to the second. I am a great admirer of daydreamers, as it's not something I'm able to do myself.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very cool...and I was the same way ummm...very er...vocal?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks everyone! Mrs. Maxwell was probably my favorite teacher (until 8th grade when I had a teacher who really made me love language). And she loved me too. I was a really good reader & she let me sit on her little rolling stool at story time & listen to the other kids read aloud, while I (gently, I hope) corrected them. It was a great way to start my educational journey!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Interesting how children are always thinking about flying. I can't remember the last time I had a flying dream. They say you grow out of them as you get older, but I sure hope this isn't true.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sweet cold revenge! I loved it!

    BTW: If you hadn't spent all that time daydreaming, you would remember the dog's name was Spot. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Awww. I'm sort of reminded of Calvin & Hobbes's endless dreams of Spaceman Spiff, and of Mrs Wormwood having to bring him back to earth. Made me smile. To follow on from Stephen Hayes's comment - I still dream of flying now and then at nearly 50 - but then I never really grew up so I suppose that explains it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Glad the Mrs. Maxwells of this world never held you back.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Cool poem, Bug.
    Evokes childhood so very well!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh yes, Argent...I'm older than you, and I still have dreams in which I fly...awesome dreams! But I never grew up, either :-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. You write with such imagination and I love that you start out without knowing and then bam that muse just seemed to hit you. Lovely job really.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great feeling and movement to this poem.
    I loved your explanitory note at the end, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bones of a great short story there. Dana -v- Mrs.Maxwell!

    ReplyDelete
  30. ...your Mother suggested she rap your hand? Poor Mrs. Maxwell... sounds like she didn't rap it that hard. Day dreaming during class.. many a genius has done that! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. A lovely vignette. Let's hope Mrs. Maxwell also went onto better things. If you're curious. my Magpie 85 is Topsy.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think I was in your first grade class - or one very similar!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Very powerful! All the way to the very last line. I loved it! "This rapped hand has written many a dream as well.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!