The munchkin recited a poem at dinner: “Hug o’ War,” by Shel Silverstein, which she had memorized just because it was up on a wall at school and she liked it. It was a treat. I went and got one of our books of his poems, which she likes (though we don’t have Where the Sidewalk Ends) and she read us another.

Getting into the spirit, I got a book of Frost poems and hunted for one that would be accessible to a seven-year-old. “Design,” which I love, is too difficult. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” would have filled the bill, but I’m glad I didn’t think of it, because having to skim several poems brought me to this one that I had never encountered. I defined “rued” for Munchkin and read aloud:

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Today was already a day unrued,but this poem added an Ahhhhh . . . that made it even more sweet. Maybe the next time a day needs a sprinkling of grace, the thought of “The Dust of Snow” will be the  crow that changes my mood. And maybe it’s a good poem to meet at the age of seven; maybe Munchkin hasn’t noticed yet that if she’s open to them, moments like this can turn her heart around on a hard day–or maybe she has. I think I’ll ask her in the morning.

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