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  • Dictated to my students on Monday, April 16th, 2012

    "Shoulders" by Naomi Shihab Nye

    A man crosses the street in rain,
    stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
    because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

    No car must splash him.
    No car drive too near to his shadow.

    This man carries the world's most sensitive cargo
    but he's not marked.
    Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,

    His ear fills up with breathing.
    He hears the hum of the boy's dream
    deep inside him.

    We're not going to be able
    to live in the world
    if we're not willing to do what he's doing
    with one another.

    The road will only be wide.
    The rain will never stop falling.

    As my curriculum plans go, my students and I fill our writer's notebooks the following day with what I have named "Musings". I provide some prompts: a combination of specific things to determine from the words of the poem and larger, more figurative aspects that help them take the leap from poem to life.

    On this day, I added a homework assignment: Keep musing about this poem for the rest of your life.
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