Mrs. Treadaway Finds Time for Poetry Contest Win

Mrs. Treadaway Finds Time for Poetry Contest Win
Posted on 11/05/2018
Mrs. Treadaway Finds Time for Poetry Contest Win

Laura Treadaway’s busy. With work, where she’s a 7th-grade special education resource teacher at McMichael Middle School, with after-school instruction, with music, where she plays with East Texas orchestras and teaches classes for young students in the Stephen F. Austin State University Music Prep Department.

But Treadaway is a writer, too, and the Judy B. McDonald Calavera Poetry Contest captured her interest. So Treadaway took the time last month to enter… and was thrilled to win first place.

Her 262-word entry titled “The Wise Man???” won the English-Adult category and was displayed Saturday in downtown Nacogdoches at the Dia de Los Muertos celebration.

“I love to write; I just don’t have the time,” said Treadaway, one of just a handful of teachers who’ve been in the McMichael building since it first opened in 2004.

Calavera (when translated is “skulls”) poems are satirical in nature and make light of people in a way that suggests they’re dead, even though they’re very much alive. The poems are typically recited for the Day of the Dead Nov. 1 in Mexico.

Treadaway’s poem begins, “How wise you are, you prominent man!” and ends with, “You’ll leave this earth sad and alone…”

Targets of the poems in Mexico might be politicians or others in places of authority; the poems are considered an acceptable way of making fun of others.

Treadaway can make use in the classroom her experience of entering – and winning – the contest.

“We teach our children to challenge themselves,” said Treadaway. “I just wanted to lead by example.

“I did it, and it totally shocked me. I was very honored. Now I can tell students, ‘I tried something and now you can too.’”


“The Wise Man???”

By Laura Treadaway


How wise you are, you prominent man!

You state your case, you raise your hand

To show those lower than yourself

How you can reign with health and  


Don’t listen to the lower man.

He clearly does not understand!

You have it all! You run the show!

You know more than the others know.


You always run when others walk.

You yell when others dare to talk.

Look what you have - it’s big, it’s bold!

Big stories of you will be told!

You need to build a bigger barn

For all your toys – what’s the harm?


You’ve earned it trampling over others

Friends and family, foes and brothers.

Doesn’t matter -  who are they?

“Wouldn’t they behave the same?” you


“I have it all, I’m set!” you rave.

“I’ll always have it my own way!”


Ohhhh do you feel it? Do you hear?

The other presence lurking near?

He whispers, “Well done, keep it up!”

But quietly he fills your cup

With inward illness, dread disease

That soon will drive you to your knees.


What’s that you say? What’s that you cry?

You didn’t think that you would die?

Too smart? Too rich? Too wise? Too fair?

Death can’t touch me! He wouldn’t dare!

Oh silly man did you impress

The very one who could care less?


Ha! Maybe he will spare your soul

If you will offer him your gold!

Oh foolish man, be on your way

For now it is your time to pay.

You’ll leave this earth sad and alone,

And give death everything you own.


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