Steady Hands: Poems About Work

Thirty-five insightful poems, flanked by “Morning” and “Night”, take us into the lives of workers who do more than what the average observer sees.  Tracy Vaughn Zimmer shows us a janitor who “senses all the secret wishes a building whispers in the night” and a baker whose “hands disappear and reappear in the folds of dough.”  We see the lawyer turned dog-walker and the teacher whose heaviest burdens are “a lesson that knotted understanding, a bright kid who refuses to be inspired, flames of words thrown in frustration.”  There’s a film maker, who for now serves popcorn at the theater, and a kid who rides a tricycle but one day will work on the planes that soar above him.

Mixed media collages by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy are fabulous, and may be the inspiration for picking up the book, but the words will keep you coming back.

Find author information and a discussion guide at


About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
This entry was posted in Books with social studies links, Love that art, Picture books, Poetry, Voice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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