by Kalli Dakos
While leaves as bright as the sun fly by,
We add, subtract, and multiply,
And none of these numbers makes sense to me,
When the sky is as blue as the summer sea.
Oh, teacher, please let’s race the leaves,
Let’s jump in piles and climb the trees,
Let’s add, subtract, and multiply,
The wind, the leaves and the deep blue sky.
Copyright © 2003 Kalli Dakos From the book If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Reprinted by permission of the author.
I am sitting at my desk on a beautiful fall day. The wind is blowing through the giant maple tree that is outside my window, and the water on the river below is dancing along with the wind.
On days like this, the wind really does call me away from my writing, my poetry and my work, and I want to go outside and run in the leaves.
Kalli Dakos has been celebrating the school world since the release of her best-selling book, If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems About School. She has written many collections of school poems, including six IRA-CBC Children’s Choice Selections, such as Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig, The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee, Don’t Read This Book, Whatever You Do! and A Funeral in the Bathroom.
As a former reading specialist and teacher, Kalli uses her educational background to create joyous, fun-filled assemblies and writing workshops that provide sound reinforcement for standards of learning, disguised as high-energy fun and filled with audience participation. She has visited schools all over the U.S. and Canada and as far away as Hong Kong.
Kalli believes that “a poem can change a child and a child can change the world.”