Friday, September 2, 2016

….another 3rd grade tour

An historical society docent of course doesn’t mind talking about the same stuff with every tour group, and the groups with kids reliably ask the old familiar questions.

The eager 3rd graders making the pilgrimage to the historic district along the Charles River in Natick, MA, prove the point. Sometimes it’s not easy to encourage a sensible understanding of the context of “350 years ago,” but the kids are all too ready to engage in such thinking in their own terms.

In a few years maybe they’ll be ready to expand that thinking just a bit:

Another 3rd grade tour

Well, yes, Anna, this is the same river
   the Nipmuc Indians knew in 1651
it was here, they fished in it
and, yes, they saw ducks like those
   on the other bank over there,
and, no, it’s not too deep,
but, here’s another way to look at it:
the river is new today,
it’s filled with new rain,
it carries a different twig over the dam,
it swirls new bubbles
   from the fish we didn’t quite see,
the river has forgotten the feel of a canoe,
   forgotten how to turn the mill wheel,
it has learned to ignore
   the ever louder sounds that crowd the air,
and it sniffs in surprise
   each time new toes are dipped in its currents,
and those ducks on the other bank
   are new this year, too.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.

Published July 29, 2016, at Whispers

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.

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