Category Archives: Poems about children

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.

Sharing Mr. Teddy

 

image from internet                              

Sharing Mr. Teddy 

Caught in baby’s neck creases, clinging to Grandpa’s cuff,
escaped from Mr. Teddy are these little bits of fluff.
These airborne little clumps of fuzz go anywhere they please.
They catch in Daddy’s nose hairs, causing him to sneeze.
They wind up in the pancakes–an artistic swirl of blue.
A few of them are tracked outside under Billy’s shoe.
When he climbs onto the school bus, they go along with him,
and everywhere that Mommy goes, to grocery store or gym,
a piece of Teddy comes along to be left behind
somewhere in the wide wide world, but he doesn’t mind.
He has so many fluffy parts that he can share a few.
And when you come to visit, you can take some home with you!!

The prompt today was fluff.

 

Small Fry

 

Small Fry

We were small fry in a grown up world,
our dresses starched, our hair tight-curled
on a candlestick by mothers
who scrubbed the faces of small brothers
with fingers they had spit upon
to purge the dirt they’d lit upon.

We had no choice in any of this.
Nor in the neighbor lady’s kiss.
Sour and moldy though she might smell,
we pretended we loved it well.
So went the life in days gone by
so long as you were just small fry.

Now children pose for selfies and diss
the thought of an old lady’s kiss.
They refuse to  run through traces.
Don’t allow spit-scrubbed-at faces.
Skirts go unstarched, hair goes uncurled
now that children rule the world!

Fry is the WP prompt today.

Scraps of Her

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Scraps of Her

She was the glitter
in our all-too-literal lives.
She left a trail of it,
our littlest fairy. 
It was the dust of her,
like that perfume half
school glue and half strawberries.
All these little paths she created in our lives—
the silliness and dainty nylon net of her,
with sand spilling from her overall pockets
and shed-off Barbie Doll parts left like
clues: one tiny shoe, a pink plastic door
from her convertible.

These small reminders once filled our house
and some of them remained when she no longer did.
We find them like the droppings of her 
in infrequently visited drawers,
the corners of cupboards 
and the hidden pockets of the sofa.

I find her signs as I empty vacuum cleaner bags—
a tail of glitter through the dust that, unaware,
she left like breadcrumbs through the forest of our memories.

Little girl.  All grown up.
Off in a different world
that is like a new game of her own concocting,
this house a scrapbook
we would never choose to remove her from.

The prompt today was “glitter.”