And She, In Turn, Presented Me With A Poem

Press me, Press me

The thing is when you are videotaping something with a Flip Camera, you need to do more than turn the power on. You need to press RECORD. The big red circle button that stands out from everything else. Duh. Everybody knows that.

One of my favorite events at daughter #2’s school is the Annual Declamation Contest. Once a year, for forty years, every student in the middle and upper school memorizes a poem and recites it for their classmates. Semifinalists are chosen in each grade, then finalists, then parents come and watch three kids from each grade (5,6,7 &8th) declaim their poems in front of an audience of peers and family. The judges are chosen from outside the school. It’s all very official.

This year my daughter was a finalist in the Declamation Contest. My husband was not able to attend. So, I promised to videotape her performance.

Damn that red circle. It should make a noise or something. Maybe as soon as you turn on the power, it should say “press me, press me.”

I didn’t miss taping her entire declamation. Just the first 20 seconds or so. Then I remembered about the red circle.

Since it is Mother’s Day on Sunday and my daughter’s poem is about a boy and his mother, I thought I would share her declamation. But first, I will type out the beginning of the poem since I didn’t get that part on tape. So, read and then press the arrow on the video. I know it’s not red and it isn’t a circle, but I will speak for it and say, “press me, press me.”

Here goes:

The Lanyard by Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word . . .


Happy Mother’s Day to all those mothers out there. And congratulations to my wonderful daughter, who by official vote, won this year’s Declamation Contest.

p.s. Sorry for all the shaky handwork. I was anxious for her and my hands are shaky anyway. šŸ™‚



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