I sent you a text
and when you sent me one back
the teacher caught us—
now you're not speaking to me
my phone is silent
I got the idea to write "Silence" after one of my middle school students told me that she used to send texts to her best friend all day long without the teachers seeing her. When her friend got caught replying to one her messages and had her phone taken away, the friendship ended. It reminded me of the time a friend insisted that I pass a note for her and how afraid I was of getting caught. I passed the note, but I was hurt that my friend put me at risk of getting into trouble.
I wanted to keep the poem very short to resemble the brevity of a text message. I also wanted to show the loneliness of a friendship ending abruptly the way a text does when it is interrupted.
I’m very proud that “Silence” appears in a wonderful new book, THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. This book is a great resource for teachers with Common Core activities for each poem. I can’t wait to try some of the Take 5 suggestions with my students. You can learn more about the book and enter to win a copy at the POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL website.
Head on over to My Juicy Little Universe where Heidi is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup!