An Imperfect-ly perfect moment?


Not long after I first found out that I was going to have a poem in Imperfect: poems about mistakes: an anthology for middle schoolers, I shared the news with my class.

“Read the poem to us!” they chorused. So, of course, I did.

“Wow! That’s good!” someone said after I’d finished.

Another voice chimed in, “That’s not a poem! It’s like a story!”

So, we talked about different kinds of poetry for a few minutes.

“Read it again,” they said. So I did.

“That should be in a book,” called out a student, who may not have been listening closely.

“Yeah,” said another student, a close cohort of the first, who was clearly listening just as closely.

“Um, yeah,” I said, “It’s going to be. That’s what we were saying.”

“Wow!” they chorused. I stopped my almost eye roll and smiled at them.

“Yeah. Wow!” I thought.

Even though I knew I’d be receiving a copy of the book at home, I ordered myself a hardcover and had it delivered to school. After it arrived, I walked to the classroom, book in hand, still feeling amazed that I had a poem in this collection. My class was working with the Guidance teacher in the community area, and I had to walk right by them. They recognized the cover of the book in my hands from their bookmarks, and a chorus erupted.

“It’s here!”

“She got it!”

“Can we read it later?”

Later, when we were back in the classroom, we gathered at the carpet to read.

“Where’s your name?”

“Can we see it?”

They all edged closer to see.

“Read yours to us!”

“Yeah, read it again!”

So, I leafed through the pages and read my poem to them and then a few more poems.


“What are those marks on the pages?” they asked.

I explained about kintsugu –how when something broke, the Japanese mended it with gold, emphasizing the beauty of the fracture, rather than trying to hide it. They celebrated the breakage, believing it enhanced the piece.

“That’s just like people,” J. commented. “We make mistakes and then we learn and we’re even more beautiful.”

The other kids nodded solemnly in agreement.

Now that was pretty much a perfect moment.

21 thoughts on “An Imperfect-ly perfect moment?

  1. judyman says:

    What a beautiful tribute to how you are not only teaching by having an impact on these kids lives. Beautiful story, Molly, and again, congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran Haley says:

    What a lovely rendering of an “imperfect moment” – life is made of such as these. Congrats on your poem publication and your deft retelling of the students reactions. The explanation of the beauty of the fracture – i.e., our broken places – and that student’s response is priceless, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy Warntz says:

    Congratulations, Molly! You a brilliant writer and your students are blessed to have you a teacher and a role model.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ureadiread says:

    Wise words from J. Congratulations on being published!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing these moments with us. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amanda Potts says:

    What a fun slice. I love your students’ reactions to your poem and to your book. That final response is something else – just perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mukhamani says:

    Truly a perfect moment and I like the idea of showing beauty in a fracture. There is beauty in everything, we should be able to see it. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. margaretsmn says:

    A perfect moment that you captured and shared with us. Thanks for that! I’ve bought the book and have shared it with my students. Celebrating yourself as an author with your students is special and never gets old.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. As a wordsmith, you have poignantly taken me into your teaching world and into the classroom lives of your students and you. And congratulations. These are moments to be celebrated. So glad you shared it with your students. When is the autograph signing celebration?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A great story, Molly. What a wonderful moment to treasure with your students.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tabatha says:

    Sounds like J. and the rest of your students really “get it”! Glad you could share this special moment with them (and us)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This made me so happy to read this morning, Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

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