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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kendra

This is an abridged version of an earlier post.

Well it’s official, my daughter is a poet. This year has marked a major change in how Kendra’s feels about writing. A positive change, something I was sure would never happen.

Everything changed in October 2009, once she was diagnosed with Dyslexia. Kendra hated writing, cried on the mornings she had to go into school knowing it was spelling test day.

This is what dyslexia looks like to Kendra.

Kendra figured out how to compensate for her dyslexia, and overcame the dyslexic obstacles preventing her from reading. To this day she can’t explain how she figured it all out, she just did. Now, two years later, she is an avid reader, who cannot spell at all. I don’t know how she does it, but it is amazing!

Kendra keeps trying though. She writes her own poetry and stories, and spell check is her pal. On most days, writing is all done with a pencil, and on these days she is still frustrated. She has to go back and read what she has written, which is hellish for her. It’s not easy to read her writing, everything looks the same to her. Phonetically spelled words are never written the same way twice. It’s hard work. But, she keeps trying and this is why I am so proud of her.

The poem below is beautiful, just like Kendra. Here it is:

What If Trees Had No Leaves
By Kendra Johnson

What if trees had no leaves?
They would look bare,
shiver in the cold,
look lonely, like all their best friends
will never come back.

And everything would darken in the snow,
Finally, the snow melts,
The leaves don’t come back.
Though it is lighter than in winter,
The trees were yearning for their leaves.

After crying a hundred tears of missing them,
the trees finally go silent.


  1. Kendra's poem is very good.

    I can relate. My daughter is an avid reader and can't spell at all, in German or English. It is a constant battle.

  2. Oh Joyce. Lovely. What a wonderful gift she has--that much more special that she has to work so hard at it.

  3. I love it! KRES does such a great job instilling poetry in the kids! I'm so glad she's reading better too. :)

  4. A beautiful poem and a great story of perseverance. Go, Kendra!

    Think about how important her stories must be to her, to put up with such obstacles and still write them down. I'll take inspiration from her whenever I'm finding it difficult to sit still and write.

  5. I already adored your special girl and now I feel even more affection for Kendra having read this. The poem is extraordinary and so are her enormous efforts to understand, deal and live with dyslexia. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. Oh, thank you for sharing this. Kendra's poem is beautiful.