Girl and Bat: A Poem for Two Voices*

Half-dreaming
against full moon
                                                               Dusky-nightmare
                                                               mission
Shadow soaring
over skylight
                                                               Mistaken
                                                               exploration!
Wing-swept wind
above my nose
                                                               Heart frantic-beating

                                    It’s from this

skimming smallish                          jerky largish

                                        creature

Get it                                                    Let me
                                            out!

I can’t see!                                          I’m afraid!

                        She’s more afraid of me?

*Performance note: I have adapted the format used by Paul Fleischman in his wonderful Joyful Noise. The poem can be read aloud by two readers at once, one taking the left-hand part, the other taking the right-hand part. The poem is read from top to bottom; lines at the same horizontal level are spoken simultaneously, and lines in the center column are spoken in unison.

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47 thoughts on “Girl and Bat: A Poem for Two Voices*

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you thought the format worked. I’ve been second-guessing this all day. We have had a bat get into our house–twice!–and I just felt sorry for the poor thing. I’m sure we completely freaked it out with our reaction.

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    1. Thank you. I should get my kids to read it, and record…I wonder if I’m technologically savvy enough to post something like that…

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  1. What a cool format. And I love how these words sound together: “skimming smallish jerky largish”

    How we fear what fears us — great topic to explore, especially in this format. So well done, Jennifer.

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  2. The layering in this piece is incredible! I love how each line is able to stand alone and conjure an image in the reader’s mind. Nicely done.

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    1. Thanks, Jen. I felt so sorry for that bat, especially after my husband tried to trap it with a broom…and accidentally knocked it a bit hard.

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  3. Ha! Another bat story! I love that you’ve given us both perspectives and that the bat was surprised the person was more afraid. The format was very creative, too. I like that it was interactive and I had no trouble reading it (even before I saw the “performance notes”).

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