Dear Alberto Ríos,

My name is Joe and I am in 7th grade. I have found interest in your poem "Refugio's Hair." The poem is like an adventure but in a poem. I like how the lady with the long hair took good care of the baby which didn't cry, and the fact that the lady's sisters came to help her and the baby. Sometimes things happen such as getting stuck in the tree. I live in Butternut, Wisconsin so there are a lot of trees everywhere you go. You see, people in Butternut, which by the way has a population of 375 people, have a lot of acres meaning that they have more land. For my family, we live on a farm, so not only is there many acres of trees, but there are also fields.

Every once in awhile we walk on some trails through the woods and it is just amazing how it is. I remember a time when I actually climbed up a tree once and couldn't get down. My parents came and helped me but it was just another memory from a while back.

Thank you for writing the poem. I love poems like the one you wrote. I am looking forward to hearing back if you can.


Grade 7
Butternut, WI

Dear Joe,

Thank you for your very kind words about my poem and for sharing that wonderful description of where you live.  I grew up in the desert, so I didn’t have trees everywhere like you have in Butternut.  I had cactus instead, which, I’ve got to say, makes for a pretty quick summer game of hide and seek since nobody can hide behind them. 

You talk about the lady taking care of the baby, which is true—it was my grandmother—but I think the tree took care of both of them, too.  It sounds like your trees have taken care of you as well.  That one tree liked you so much it didn’t want to give you up!

Where I grew up, there weren’t really any farms, but there were ranches everywhere. Trees, when they grew, were always special, mostly because they meant water.  You probably don’t think much about your trees since you have so many, or about water, but all sorts of things happened underneath our trees—including what happened in the poem.

Thank you for writing to me, and thank you most of all for reading the poem and thinking about it.  Please say hi to your teacher and classmates, and to your own family as well. 



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