HILL 'N DALE
Ten-year-old Dominic Rogers stood in front of his class at Eastside Elementary School, microphone in hand, and began reading from a book of poetry dedicated to that most special person in his life — his mother.
"Donuts remind me of you," one of his poems began. "You are so unforgettable."
The group of students and parents chucked.
Words from the heart — and the tummy.
On Tuesday, the students of Victoria Seifried's fifth-grade class stood before the class to wax poetic about their mothers, telling them in often colorful language and verse just how much they meant to them.
It was their way of saying Happy Mother's Day.
Seifried's students had spent the past week learning about the different types of poetry and poetic devices. She taught them about alliteration and onomatopoeia, similes and metaphors. She instructed them on the basics of haikus, limericks and cinquains.
She said creating the poetry books — and then reading them to their parents — gave the students purpose in their writing.
Molly Chirieleison, 12, was the first to volunteer to read her poem to the group, reciting a variation on "roses are red."
"Roses are red, violets are blue/you are my mom/and I love you.
It continued: "I want to thank you for all you do/I know I'll follow in your footsteps and be strong like you."
John Coile, 11, wrote that his mom is "a master at loving me."
"She's the mayor of awesomeville," he wrote.
Shyanna Croft, 12, told her mom that she is her best friend and that her dream is to follow in her footsteps. "You are my starlight; I know your heart is crystal clear," she said.
Racheal Frasier highlighted the more mundane, thanking her mom for making her bed and putting good thoughts in her head. "She's my only mom and I don't want another," she wrote.
Many of the students read off words that represented their mothers. Beautiful. Loving. Caring. Supportive. Smart.
Brent Hatfield, 10, said his mom was better than 1,000 televisions and thanked her for helping him with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
He wrote a poem about how he invented trick-or-treat so he could fill her mouth with sweets.
He loved the assignment — and honoring his mom. "They do so much for us, and I think we can give something back in appreciation," he said. "I love her. She does anything in the world for me."
Tina Hatfield, Brent's mom, appreciated the poetry reading — the first time she had ever been to something like that. "I thought it was very special," she said.
Danny Valentine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1432.