The older we get, the younger we realize we are. Some call it young at heart or spirit, but I think it's just a truth. This past winter I had the opportunity to teach my first poetry class at Harvest Hill Retirement Community in Lebanon, N.H. During the course of the class, one student, a priest, wrote a poem about creating a diorama from Peeps. I had never heard of the tradition of shaping those pastel Easter chicks and bunnies into something new, but I have learned it is quite commonplace especially in Newport, N.H. where there is an annual Peep diorama contest. My student, I mentioned she was a priest didn't I, became absolutely giddy at the thought of ripping the long gummy ears off the bunny peeps. In the past, I believe she won.
This was not the only moment of childlike glee expressed in my class. The same priest and her friend, a very proper English woman with a wonderful accent and a twinkle in her azure eyes became quite enamored with slightly off-color limericks. I have to say I missed this group when the class ended. From bellydancing to poetry readings to art field trips, this group seemed to have a better social life than I do, so I promised that when the Peep diorama exhibit rolled around I'd join them. Thus, last Tuesday I followed the bus from Harvest Hill down to Newport to survey a wide and creative array of peep dioramas. If the exact nature of my students remains in question, let me share that one of their favorite dioramas was 50 Peeps of Gray, a homage to last year's popular erotica novel 50 Shades of Gray. Following the exhibit, we drove to McDonald's and exchanged pleasantries over sundaes and McFlurries.
We took a picture of the group, which I jokingly refer to as Me and My Peeps go to See some Peeps. These people may be older than me, but the title fits us well.