Yesterday at IBBY

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Sandy and I drove to St. Louis so that I could join Sylvia Vardell in a presentation at the IBBY regional conference. Everything went well, at least as far as I was concerned. I loved presenting with Sylvia, and I loved it that one of the poems that she featured in her half of of the hour was by none other than Joy Acey. Way to go Joy! It’s the poem in which Joy learns that in some cultures, the position of your hand — palm down or palm facing out — is important when showing size. The audience appreciated the poem and I enjoyed it again.

Sylvia and Janet Wong printed post cards of one of my poems in the newest collection: POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL. I handed out the post cards and read the poem. You may have seen this one already but here it is.

He was so Little
David L. Harrison

Couldn’t reach a chair,
just stood there begging,
eyes bright, fanny wagging
until I reached down.

His puddles were so little
sometimes I’d miss them,
but he always gave himself away,
head hanging,
ears drooping,
ashamed.

Loud noises scared him,
made him whimper,
come running to me
too scared to know what to do,
I’d pick him up,
hold him against my chest
till the shivering stopped.

We grew up together
except I got bigger,
he just got older.

Yesterday
we took him to the vet,
said goodbye,
left him there.

He was so little.
The hole in my heart
is
so
big.

10 comments on “Yesterday at IBBY

    • Oh you big baby. I think the poem reminds us of losses of one kind or another, but who hasn’t lost a pet at some point. I’ve written on the subject before but this one seems like the strongest.

  1. Dear David:
    Sometimes when people get up and leave when you’re presenting, it’s because you’ve pushed them to write RIGHT AWAY!
    And once again, I teared up. You got me.
    Jeanne

  2. I’ve said goodbye to many dogs, and cats, too, David. You’ve written with such warmth here, all those little details of your pet. The house always seems so empty after, doesn’t it? I’m glad the presentation went well, & what a thrill to have Joy’s poem shared too!

    • Thank you, Linda. This poem was not about any dog in particular. It grew from memories of real pets lost over a lifetime. I was so pleased when Sylvia selected Joy’s poem to discuss. What fun!

  3. Glad you had a good day. Thanks for including me. Sounds like a great day. The post cards sound like fun. I bet you poem is one middle schoolers turn to for comfort thank you for writing this poem.

    • Thanks, Joy. I had a fine time. It was my first opportunity to address members of IBBY so I was grateful to Sylvia for the invitation.

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