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Posts Tagged ‘forest’

 You are your most valuable asset. Don’t forget that. You are the best thing you have.
            —from Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, (May 17, 1939-October 14, 2021) 


How many children went down in that plane, Gary?
How many children fell out of the sky alone
and learned they could live
for months in the woods
with only a hatchet for help?
How many kids learned
that tough conditions were a bidding
to bring their best self?
My daughter was nine or ten
when she first drew your book from the shelf
and found herself stranded in the northern woods.
Then she went there on purpose again and again.

Now, three years later, she wanders a forest of loss,
and in so many ways she’s alone.
Gary, you gave her a story to believe in
in which young people survive, find their way home.
Your story’s a sharp tool my daughter can wield
to make sparks in these darkened days.
I thank you for teaching her
how she might rise from a crash,
how in these woods of sorrow,
though I would build her a fire if I could,
she is the best thing she has.

*In case you are unfamiliar with Gary Paulsen, you can read more here. As he says, “Name the book that made the biggest impression on you. I bet you read it before you hit puberty.”

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