Tag Archives: poem about growing up




My best friend taught me about limbo and saints,
Showed me their stacks of National Geographic.
You had to be invited into membership, she said,
not everyone could join. I rated them against
my mother’s Ladies’ Home Journals

and felt deficient, somehow.

No wine in our Methodist kitchen cupboards.
No tuna and salmon tins
stacked up awaiting Friday.
All those cans on my friend’s mother’s shelves in limbo
all Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,

that long summer when we were still twelve.

Wanting something we didn’t yet know the name of.
Restless stirrings the little boys our age 
did not know how to respond to.
All of them inches shorter than us
 except for one—a tall country boy
new to town school,
the most innocent of all.

How we waited to be chosen—
the fact that we’d already chosen in our minds
having little consequence.
How we watched. How we kept secrets,
even from each other.

I knew what to call it, at least,
if not much else,
that summer I turned thirteen,

nothing changed.


The dVerse poets prompt is “Limbo.”

But Jimmy Cliff says it best!!!!

And “Limbo” of a different sort was two years in our future: 

What I am, NaPoWriMo 2019, Day 11


What I Am

I am from thick ankles and steady determination. Stubborn Dutchmen, prairie dirt, waving wheat fields, night sounds that carried me away. Inkwells and Our Miss Brooks, Christmas tree tinsel that hurt your fillings when you chewed it, chicken pox and neighbors’ dogs, tiny bunnies rescued from furrows, my sister’s old prom dresses in a trunk in the upstairs hall. I am cherry trees and cherries for pitting. Pitched tents and new friends, prayer and questions, spelling bees and math, Annie-I-Over and hollyhocks. Sunday rollerskating on the basketball court. Ten-cent movies and Bit-o-Honeys, ditch ’em and long summer nights. An attic never opened, a basement too frequently explored, dust of Sunday explorations down long dirt roads. Small prairie towns and flights of fancy. Pretending my real self, while trying to be from where I was. Caught in a net with scissors. Cutting my way out. Taking any road elsewhere.  A highway, a plane, a ship, an escape, a looking for, a finding, a losing, a continual origin story of my own making. Full breaths. Sinking in. Making memories. Remembering memories made for me. I am. I am becoming. What I was I still am. Self changing self and sinking back into self.

The day 11 NaPoWriMo prompt is: to write a poem of origin. Where are you from? Not just geographically, but emotionally, physically, spiritually? Maybe you are from Vikings and the sea and diet coke and angry gulls in parking lots. Maybe you are from gentle hills and angry mothers and dust disappearing down an unpaved road. And having come from there, where are you now?



Tottering on stubby legs,
Reaching for the world,
Another child once nested
Now slowly comes uncurled.
Stretching out and learning,
Forgetting childhood woes,
Opening to each new thing,
Reforming as she grows.
Meet her in the springtime
And meet her in the fall.
The child you met the first time
Is no longer there at all.
One more child a woman,
Now a mother, now a grand.
Always we are changing,
Led by nature’s hand.

Libraries cannot answer
If changing has an end,
For we know not if transformation
Ends around the bend.


The Year I Gave Up Childish Things


The Year I Gave Up Childish Things

At the age of sixty-eight,
I’ve no wish to equivocate.
Is there a time when childhood ends?
When we give up playful friends?
Cease to lie in grass and dream?
Drink our coffee without cream?
Always do what’s reasonable
in order to avoid life’s trouble?
Say no to candy and dessert?
Cease to giggle, joke and flirt?
If so, I can’t remember mine.
Perhaps when I am sixty-nine!

The prompt: Write about a defining moment in your life when you were forced to grow up in an instant (or a series of instants).https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/when-childhood-ends/