21 years later Ted Kooser, former poet laureate, writes a childrens book about a bag being blown across the prairie.

In second grade we, the second graders of Mrs. Monkern's class, wrote a book.
Each of us contributed one page...a half a sentence.

It began, "In the fall when the wind blows..."
We were told to finish the sentence.

I puzzled. I imagined the wind blowing across our treeless yard.
I pictured the wind blowing accross fields and fields of harvested stubble.
I saw that plastic bag, hooked onto a stalk of corn stubble.
I traced it back to its origins.

"In the fall, when the wind blows, the trash blows from the dumpster."

When we read our book, when I saw the images of my classmates.
The pretty girls created pretty pictures to match.
Leaves bouncing down streets, water rippling on lakes, hair getting tossed about.
None was so mundane as trash blowing from the dumpster.
I was not pretty. Even in book writing.
I was ashamed.


  1. i don't know what to say.
    what a beautiful coincidence.
    thank you for sharing this.


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