Category Archives: Poems about children

Hop Scotch: NaPoWriMo 2019, Day 7

 

As usual, when I showed Forgottenman this little house I made for Yolanda’s daughter, Yoli, he insisted there must be a poem in it. Since this day’s prompt is about gifts, it seemed preordained. This is the little house fashioned by a man from clay as we sat eating our lunch in Tlaquepaque and listening to mariachi music. They were for the taking for a tip, so I chose one, brought it home and painted it. I had to add a few people and animals and flowers just to make it happier for Yoli, who always makes me happy.

Hop Scotch

Everyone should have a child around
now and then
to shake out the wrinkles
and lighten up the predictable.

That lighthearted humming on the patio,
tuneless and joyful?
That Barbie doll world
set up for the hour or so

before she goes
tripping off
to find tennis balls
in the garden with the dog?

Someone else’s child.
What gift could she treasure as much
as I have treasured this last hour’s
spontaneous
distraction ?

One shoe
under the terrace table.
One cookie vanished off the plate.
One giggle listened for. 

 

NaPoWriMo prompt: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of gifts and joy. What would you give yourself, if you could have anything? What would you give someone else?

Dream World

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Dream World

My little nephews were quite the rapscallions,
with tinfoil armor and mop handle stallions
they conquered their foes and made off in their galleons
to sail the wild oceans, and then this wild pair
got into their airplanes to sail through the air.
You barely could tell that the swing set was there.

From morning to night, they were batting or pitching,
expounding on hockey and football and itching
to escape the tame lives that they would be ditching
as soon as they grew up. Then they would be soaring
in airplanes and gliders and missiles less boring.
Their engines fired up, the crowds would be roaring

for the heroes they’d be, taking off into space,
vanishing upwards with barely a trace—
off to adventure, intent on the chase.
They would catch up with life and grab onto its tail.
They’d travel each highway and ride every rail,
pass “go” every round and get out of jail!

Life in short would be anything but dull and tame.
It would be a wild spree—an adventurous game
wherein they’d be heroes, ensconced in their fame.
At least this was their theory when they were young,
when adventure was made up in mind and on tongue
and all of their upcoming conquests were sung!

But childhood dreams often go far astray.
They tend to evaporate as day-to-day
we slowly grow up and enter the fray.
Now one’s an accountant, the other a doc,
and there’s little adventure and even less talk
of being an astronaut, pilot or jock.

Yet who knows in the nighttime what sorties are planned?
With their heads on their pillows, do their wishes expand
to soar off to adventures more wild and grand?
Perhaps in their dreams they go back to their youth
and to pastimes less sane—more reckless and uncouth.
Perhaps in their slumbers, their dreams become truth.

The prompt words today were air, theory, rapscallion and itching. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/rdp-saturday-air/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/23/fowc-with-fandango-theory/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/your-daily-word-prompt-rapscallion-february-23-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/itching/

Past Prime

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Past Prime

She stamps her little foot down. A tantrum, I would guess.
She will not put these panties on. She will not wear this dress.
She doesn’t want to brush her teeth. Tangles swathe her head.
She doesn’t want her breakfast. She doesn’t want her bed.
Her grandma shuts the door on her. She’ll wait until she’s grown.
She used up all her patience on kids who were her own!!!

 

With tongue in cheek, I’d like to dedicate this blog to Karen over at her Momshieb blog. You might want to read her link as well!  She’s crazy about her grandkids but even grandmas have their limits. The WordPress prompt word today is tantrum.

The Holy Apewoman of Mexico

This post made years ago at the very beginning of my blog answers today’s prompt of “conjure” perfectly, so here it is again after a small edit:

The Holy Apewoman of Mexico

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 My dialogue takes place between my 7 year old self and my 70 year old self who, ironically, is writing this in Mexico.


Childhood Dreams

7
The mysteries
of Grandma’s barn
and basement—
whole lost worlds there.
Our own attic—a door held down
by a gravity never challenged.

I wanted to see
the hanging gardens of Babylon,
Mexico and Africa—
all these places from books,
their pieces jumbled together
like puzzle pieces
in the deep recesses of my closet,
scattered,
but ready for assembly
some day
when I would
make my future memories
happen.

70
I crouch with myself at seven—
sharing imagined dangers
in deep closets,
trying to conjure the world.
So many small town stories
overlooked
while I dreamed of living
in those fairy tale places
of Bible stories
that stood on a shelf
sandwiched between
the Bobbsey Twins
and Tarzan.

Some of us spend our lives
trying to be like books,
then spend our old age
trying to remember childhood,
mainly remembering
childhood’s dreams.

*

The prompt word today is conjure.

How Not to Walk a Crocodile

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How Not to Walk a Crocodile

I’ll admit, it’s been a while
since I walked a crocodile,
so my technique is rather rusty
and my memory is dusty.
Still, I’ll tell you if you sit awhile
how not to walk a crocodile!

Don’t walk him through the butcher shop.
The butcher will just call a cop.
Don’t visit bakeries at all.
His roar will cause the cakes to fall.
That store where Mother bought her dress?
No place to walk your croc, I’d guess.

And though your pet may need some air,
it’s best that you don’t take him where
small dogs are left out for our viewing
just right for crocodile chewing.
Dog parks do not work for crocs
Find a new place for your walks.

Don’t walk him on your grandma’s floor.
She’ll sweep you both right out the door.
Don’t take him to your Sunday School.
He’s sure to break the Golden Rule.
And if you take him to the deli,
no saying what ends in his belly.

I’ll share a secret with you now.
It is, I really don’t know how
to take a crocodile for a walk.
All of this has just been talk.
And can I guess by your big smile,
you do not have a crocodile?

I guess it was the recent sighting of a croc on the beach at night that sent this little ditty rushing into my head this morning. I would love to have someone illustrate this.  Anyone want to try? Send a sketch of your vision of the croc in one of the given situations. You can either email it to me or put it on your blog and send me a link!
Here’s a photo of the croc that was on the beach near the house I rent. You could see my house in the background if it were light! Photo by Susana Vijaya. (She estimated the croc to be 3 meters long!)

Update: If you’re not ready to leave croc world yet, here’s an oldie but goodie. (Thanks to Marilyn for the memory jog.)

It Was a Tiny Cavity


It was a tiny cavity squeezed under the stair,

and when she chose to hide in it, nobody found her there.
Her mother didn’t know of it. Nor did her dad or brother.
This space was hers entirely. It belonged to no other.
It’s good for girls to have a space for dreams and privacy
to seal away the princess from towers and piracy.
A special place to wonder in. A sequestered place to think—
a place that isn’t ruffled or gingham, laced or pink.
A quiet place for only her to deal with the gestation
of all those massive ponderings that lead to maturation.
In a year or two she’ll grow too large for such small spaces
and she’ll be off to treehouses and other private places.
Until then, do not bother her. Leave that girl alone.
As her imagination she scrapes down to the bone,
a soup of creativity will simmer out of it
and carry her along with it once she doesn’t fit
into that tiny womb your house hid beneath the stair
in case a curious little girl needed a place back there.

The prompt today is cavity.

Kids’ Tribunal

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Kids’ Tribunal

When wind howls like a banshee to fill the dark night air
and monsters lurk in closets or in creakings up the stair,
when your brother knows they’re out there––these creatures he can’t see,
when nightmares wake you up at night and you have to pee
but daren’t leave your bed in fear those creatures will come “getcha”
(all those night-born monsters that come out at night to fetch ya,)
or when sister wets the bed again and seeks a drier nest,
for lying on her soggy sheets, she knows she’ll never rest––
it’s times like these when all the kids form a small tribunal
and determine that their parents’ bed should be declared communal.

 

The prompt word today is communal.