Nesting [Poetry Friday]

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

You guys, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. My dad was in the hospital for several nights–he’s home and doing…sort of okay. Now my sister (the same one who had serious medical issues earlier this year) is back in the hospital and not doing well. I was already overwhelmed with work deadlines and neighborhood issues, and I’m just feeling kind of numb by now. But I missed y’all last week, so I looked for something quick to share this week. So here’s another poem from my very first trade picture book, Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School.


I’m one quiet fox.
My desk is my den,
with quizzes, smooth rocks, and
a note from my friend.
I tuck deep inside
the hollowed-out wood
to make me feel safe when I’m
not understood.
–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved


I would like someplace to feel safe right now. I think we all would. The world of poems and books is my safe place. Yours too? Then visit the Poetry Friday Roundup with the very kind Janice Scully at Salt City Verse.

PS Stampede is out of print now, and the rights to the text have reverted to me. I’m sharing a poem here, and I’ve finally put together a .pdf for teachers that has all the poems (plus a teaching guide and a storytime guide, etc.). It’s a free gift for anyone who subscribes to my Salas Snippets monthly e‑letter for teachers. If you know a teacher who might be interested, please pass this along. Thanks!



27 Responses

  1. Oh Laura, what a time you are having. I know that being far away from your dad and your sister doesn’t help, either. I love the thought of that fox ‘nesting’ in her or his desk, curling up sometimes, too? Hugs to you & I will share your offer with some former colleagues. How nice to do that!

    1. Thanks, Linda…on all counts. You’re right–the distance is especially hard when health emergencies happen :>(

  2. I still pull Stampede from my bookshelf to share on occasion. I love the poem you chose, and I’m so sorry about everything you and your family are facing right now. Sending hugs and prayers your way.

    1. I love knowing that a couple of the few folks who bought Stampede still pull it out! Thanks for that cheery thought and the encouragement.

  3. So sorry to hear you have this tough stuff happening in the midst of year that’s just tough all round. I hope you are able to find time and space to shelter in your nest.

  4. Laura, I’m so sorry you are going through such a tough time. Thank you for sharing the perfect poem to make us all feel safe. Books, poems, my cats, nature, mountains, woods, an ocean beach… are my safe places. Try to take some time to breathe and nest. Your family and you are in my prayers.

    1. Thanks, Gail. Oh, I love your safe places. I’d add dogs, too, though we have neither cats nor dogs right now. But they both equal unconditional love. Thank you for the kind thoughts.

  5. Laura, I tweeted your free offer for Ts. Sounds wonderful. Can I have a piece of your carved wood? I need a safe place too. Where do we sign up for your Salas Snippets Newsletter?

  6. Dear Laura, The “Nesting” poem of ducking into a cozy tree hug is perfect for these times. Sending hugs, with family prayers & thumb’s up, for shouldering so much in such a short time. You are treasured by your family & by Poetry Friday. Thank you for being here this week.

    1. Aw, thank you, Jan. This community IS a treasure. I’m looking forward to visiting posts this weekend :>)

  7. I’m so sorry about your dad and your sister and all that you’re going through. I’ve definitely been nesting more, and preparing for colder days ahead when we won’t be able to gather outside as easily. I love your wonderful poem. Wishing for better days ahead for you, for us all.

    1. Thanks, Liz. And yes, while I love winter, it’s discouraging thinking about this one. In my immediate family, about 97% of our connecting with other people and each other has been outdoors for the past 7 months. MN winters are not conducive to that. Snow this weekend, I think!

  8. What a rough time you’ve been going through, Laura. We all need that safe place right now, but it sounds like no one more than you. You and your family are in my heart.

  9. Laura, this is such a sweet poem! It brought to mind the red fox wandering around our neighborhood, not bothering anyone, but he shows himself occasionally, but mostly hides. We all long for a sense of safety and my thoughts are often with teachers and kids.

    1. How lovely to have a neighborhood fox. Yes, I feel so much for teachers and students. Almost 30% of teachers in MN want to quit right now. So much stress…

  10. I’m there with my desk-den! It’s very comforting to have a retreat. 2020 has not been a kind year for so many people, it is hard not to believe that something far beyond our comprehension is afoot. But then again, maybe it was all so that we might seek out our family and friends and learn what’s important in life. Prayers for you and yours that all will right itself soon!

    1. Hard conditions definitely make our priorities crystal clear, don’t they? Thanks for the good thoughts.

  11. Yes! I love your picture of nesting. Ruth,

  12. I have a daughter would would very much relate to your poem. I am sorry for all the stresses you have going on on top of the rest of 2020. I hope that you father continues to improve and that your sister gets better. Hugs from Florida.

  13. In fourth grade, my friend Lisa and I would lift the lids of our desks and talk across the aisle about what happened on Perry Mason. That was our safe place (as if Mrs. Bryner didn’t know we were talking!)

  14. Oh, Laura, I’m sorry about all the rough times of late! Thanks for sharing a sweet poem. I think we all want to feel safe and understood these days. And yes, finding solace in books, always. 🙂

  15. Sending hugs to you and healing thoughts for your sister and Dad, these are difficult times… We all could use one of those safe nesting places to curl up in like Fox’s–mine is retreating into art or writing–and if not too cold, my garden, I was outside painting yesterday when I should have been doing other things. Thanks Laura, xo Michelle K

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