Inspiration from Ralph Fletcher

I spent some time yesterday morning in a fourth grade classroom. They are writing poetry, and their teacher shared ideas about using mentor texts when they write poems. We looked at Ralph Fletcher’s “The Good Old Days” together. Students noticed things about the structure, word choice and the ordinary everyday choice of topic.  Their homeroom teacher and I shared first drafts of our own attempts at “The Good Old Days” poems. We kept the first and last stanza’s of Fletcher’s poem.

Here is mine:

Sometimes I remember 
the good old days,

burrowed under covers in the early light
one ear open, both eyes closed.

waiting for your soft steps
in the hall below.

Ready to spring up,
sprint down
and out the door
to take my Saturday morning spot in your old car.

We’ll head into the quiet morning
to gather farmer’s market sausage
and warm glazed doughnuts from the bakery up the street,
the makings of a Saturday morning feast.

I still can’t imagine
anything better than that.


11 thoughts on “Inspiration from Ralph Fletcher

  1. I'm with Kathleen! My dad used to make the 5-minute run down to the Mennonite bakery occasionally on a Saturday mooring for “still-warm glazed doughnuts”. I might pull out a few f my Ralph Fletcher books and see what ideas he might have for me.


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