|Photo Credit: kele michele|
What struck me about the poem first was not the poem itself but my teacher's reaction. I remember* Dr. Gilbert's face seeming to light up. I remember her saying the poem was lovely and then saying that yes so much does depend on a red wheelbarrow, rain, and a white chicken. It was Dr. Gilbert's reaction that made me pay attention to the poem. I like reading poetry. I like it when poems are short and sweet and sort of child like imaginative. But I know** I wasn't paying attention to the poem until I noticed my professor.
And then, when I gave attention to the poem, I noticed Dr. Gilbert was right. It is such a lovely poem. It's sweet and simple. It's the little girl inside me saying, "Hey! You have to notice the rain on this thing. It means everything." It's the magic in an every day, often overlooked thing speaking up for itself. It's my reminder that even I matter, and so much of who I am and my ideas and stories depend on giving credit to even the little things.
so much dependsupon
a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rainwater
beside the whitechicken
*Memory is a funny thing. This is how I remember it now. Ask someone else who took the class when I did and they may remember something completely different. Ask me about this 20 years from now and I may remember it differently.
** I actually don't remember not paying attention. But I feel like maybe I wasn't paying attention. I remember I had this class around 2:30 or 3 p.m. after lunch and around that golden nap hour. That is why I know I wasn't paying attention. Instead I was probably fighting off, in my own way, that creeping nap feeling.