In the book, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, a grandma and her grandson, CJ, are on an outing, and CJ has a lot of questions: How come they have to wait for the bus in the rain? How come they have to wait for a bus at all? Why don’t they have a car? She tells him that trees get thirsty. (“Don’t you see that big one drinking through a straw?” she asks. He doesn’t. Yet.) She tells him there’s no need for a car when they have a bus that breathes fire.
The slim tale goes on like this for a few vibrant pages as CJ names something about the world and his grandmother names something more, thus widening his perspective and helping him see the truth in a deeper, more creative way.
When they arrive at the last stop on Market Street and head towards a soup kitchen where they will serve a meal, CJ notices so much brokenness — sidewalk doors, windows, and stores.
“How come it’s always so dirty over here?” CJ asks his grandma. She tells him, “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.”
She points to a rainbow in the sky arching over the apartment buildings, and CJ wonders how she can find beautiful in the broken world, but they walk a bit more, and soon he sees familiar faces from his weekly visits to the soup kitchen.
And seeing them, he smiles and begins to understand.
This week take a walk and notice your surroundings, as CJ did. Ask questions about what you see, and respond in the manner of CJs grandmother. Try to write a poem that is a witness to beauty in a broken world.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last month’s poetry prompt. Here’s one from Rick that we enjoyed:
the gray horses
of my longing.
with dampened wings,
a dream of gold,
beneath the cold
and heavy snow.
Bloom bright for me,
for my wish was true
and silent, and
I believe in you.
A Writer’s Dream Book
“Callie Feyen has such a knack for telling personal stories that transcend her own life. In my years in publishing, I’ve seen how hard that is—but she makes it seem effortless, and her book is such a pleasure. It’s funny, it’s warm, it’s enlightening. Callie writes about two of the most important things in life—books and clothes—in utterly delightful and truly moving ways. I’m impressed by how non-gimmicky and fresh her writing is. I love this book.”
—Sarah Smith, Executive Editor Prevention magazine; former Executive Editor Redbook magazine
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- Winter Stars Book Club: Fantasy – “To The Shadows We Return” - September 23, 2020
- Winter Stars Book Club: Tragedy – Winter Stars - September 16, 2020