Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 306

A few updates: First, Market Mondays will resume next week. I was excited by that new feature, but then my grandfather passed away later on the same day, which completely drained away my time and attention. Second, I’ve started receiving selections from the screening readers for the April PAD Challenge.

For today’s prompt, write a childhood poem. My first thought is that this could be a poem about your own childhood, but also maybe someone else’s. I wasn’t thinking of a childish poem or poem with children in it, but I suppose both are fair game when considering childhood, aren’t they? As usual, I expect you to make of this prompt what you will–and have fun!

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Here’s my attempt at a Childhood Poem:

“florence”

this street seemed so much longer
in my memory & these homes
housed so many children
& i was one & i was one

we’d run next door & across
the street with our toy guns &
imaginations running wild
& spinning into the future

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff.

He used to ride his bike without any hands (or helmet), play a million variations of tag, and dream of jumping on a train and riding it to wherever the tracks would lead. And he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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369 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 306

  1. taylor graham

    PUPPY PLUNGE

    Awake now –
    bone of imaginary
    creature in his mouth
    dug out of the dark,
    every day discoveries
    fractured
    granite uplift whimsy-weather –
    how can we ever hold him
    in tippity timbers, his
    jaws itchy as spirit
    kept blind in the womb,
    let out on a world
    measureless – that
    netted fence we placed
    over retaining-wall but he
    plunges
    quicksilver as wings over
    rubble of Monday
    scattered &
    tatters of the
    unplanned unexplained
    vagaries of wind & sun he
    walks the wall – kings-
    X. He’s safe as he is brave.
    Yes! I say but already he’s
    zippity run gone.

  2. Bruce Niedt

    Here’s the third in my series of poems inspired by Jane Hirshfield’s first section of poems in her new book, The Beauty, all of which have titles beginning with “My”:

    My Childhood

    I won’t bore you with the details –
    it was just a normal life.

    Well, there was the time
    I was abducted by aliens –
    no, they didn’t probe me;
    they just gave me ice cream.

    I was in a war, too, and I took the hill
    for our side. Yes, I died a few times,
    but a minute later I’d jump up,
    a marvelous resurrection.

    And I’ll never forget the day
    I walked on the moon.
    You can still see my sneaker prints
    in the undisturbed dust.

    Then there was the Indy 500,
    where I lapped the competition.
    and the Kentucky Derby
    which I won by a nose.

    Oh yeah, and I almost forgot
    that walk-off home run I hit
    in the bottom of the ninth to win
    the World Series for the Phillies.

    Like I said, a normal childhood.

  3. Karen

    Long Lake

    Schools out
    slap slap of flip flops
    Kool-Aid mustaches
    “Wild Thing”
    gets your blood pumpin

    cottages filling up
    Seaman’s store opens
    for the summer people
    docks and boats ready
    fish flies snap underfoot

    parent’s drinking Drewrys
    ice cold long necks
    dad with his Lucky Strikes
    mom prefers filtered L&M
    crayfish hiding

    tent pitched in the backyard
    playing kickball in the street
    nose buried in a book
    antennae needs adjusting
    Jackie Gleason is fuzzy

    1. PressOn

      This kaleidoscope is familiar, especially the fuzzy Gleason. Those were the days when cigarettes were actually thought to be healthy; Camel had a T-zone ad in that regard. This was nice to read.

  4. Alaina Dawson

    When the Dreamer Dies

    quick to catch the drips of chocolate ice cream

    on the tip of her tiny pink tongue

    the tastiest summer tradition she could think of

    skipping down the path

    worn down by so many others before her

    to swings that take her up, up, and away

    the happiest spring memory she could think of

    bundling up in puffy coats

    peeling off layers upon layers of wet socks

    sipping chocolate and marshmallows

    the warmest winter concoction she could think of

    pulling on riding boots

    running through the golden leaves that crunch beneath her feet

    the only thing left to fall was herself

    the fondest fall excursion she could think of

    each season that passed brought new traditions

    new memories, new concoctions, new excursions

    new reasons to smile and laugh and look at the world with all the light in her eyes

    but even the heart of smallest little girl

    has to break eventually

  5. Walt Wojtanik

    MEMORIALS TO A BOYHOOD HOME

    In the center of our yard a flower bed grew,
    a garden of beauty brought fully into view,
    and in the center of the plot a pole was planted,
    straight and true and never slanted
    until the iron rusted after dad had died.

    As a boy, I tried to shinny skyward to the top
    of the flagpole that marked our place. A space
    where Old Glory’s banner proudly flew, a wave
    of red and white and blue unfurled and true
    to mark a sailor’s port and an immigrant’s station;

    a symbol of a valiant nation honored in its way.
    Today the pole is gone. Fallen by rusts’s voracious
    appetite. The naturalized citizen who saluted in reverence
    to the land of his preference has been laid to rest.
    The proud chest of the sailor rises and falls no more

    his ship moored in its silent shore, his dutiful chore
    is done. The memory of these people and places
    is etched, their faces tattooed on hearts and minds that
    held them dear. All that remains here is this banner aloft
    crisp and clean, flown to keep their memories alive!

    1. PressOn

      I commented on this at your Phoenix site, but want to add here that the whole flower bed imagery is so appropriate, in my view, especially the renewed pole.

  6. Kaulmer

    Childhood: Theirs

    High above my head
    The water is careening
    Out and over the edge –
    White and foamy.
    It crashes down the eroding rock face
    Throwing itself carefree
    Out and over
    And over and onto
    Onto and away
    And away

    Standing at the bottom
    I stand, arms outstretched
    Trying to grab hold of the spray
    As it alights all over my face –
    Runs like rivulets
    Down my cheeks, careless
    Out and over
    And over and onto
    Onto and away
    And away

    -Krina Ulmer

  7. carolecole66

    Childhood Home

    It’s hard to go back. The houses
    are miniature, shabby without chic.
    We sit outside in the car and talk memories—
    the time mother backed the car into the house,
    missing the jog the driveway took. It’s less
    funny today as one who would have to pay
    for a moment’s lack of focus, the crumpled fender,
    the busted tail light. Is everything like that—
    as we grow, the humor shrinks into a hard
    nugget, a rock in the gut? The backyard looks
    small from here but I never played there,
    no whiffle ball games, no hide and seek.
    The park was a block down the hill
    and to the right, the hill no longer so steep.
    How did we sled it, those sharp winter days,
    spinning in our saucers, breathless with fear
    and with joy? We sit outside in the car, watching
    the house with no one inside, no one to tell us
    to come in, it’s too cold to linger, come into
    this house where memories are warm.

  8. josephdaniel

    A Mighty Oak

    An old oak tree
    One hundred or more
    Only ashes remain
    A landmark destroyed
    Once a child of nature
    The hurt still lingers
    A hollow feeling prevails
    Heads hang low

  9. drnurit

    Childhood Remembrance

    By: Nurit Israeli

    I was a grown-up child from
    the very beginning, or so it felt.
    The adults were busy surviving,
    it was no time for children
    to be immature.

    The wars made me wary.
    When sirens wailed, I feared
    we might die. In the shelter,
    I pretended to be brave but
    was beside myself with worry.

    I materialized amid multiple
    miscarriages − a sole survivor.
    On the wall by my bed, I drew two
    make-believe siblings, a brother
    and a sister, to keep me company.

    The one room that was home felt
    as safe as a womb. Food was
    rationed, yet my mother worked
    miracles with the little we got.
    I was a bad eater, but I took in the love.

    There were few toys and many
    made-up games. There were bedtime
    stories and lullabies, fervent debates
    and prayers for peace: a small space
    brimming with people and dreams.

    I was aware of the hardships, though
    whispered in Polish. I mastered
    enough of my parents’ mother tongue
    to understand. From early on, I did
    my utmost to brighten their path.

    Honestly, despite the hurdles,
    there was much pride in trying
    from the very beginning to do good
    because, back then, doing good
    mattered way more than anything.

    Oh, it was trying at times, yet the air
    was filled with the magic of ideals,
    and yes, I’ll confess: the memories
    that still linger with startling clarity
    become dearer as time goes by.

  10. Daniel Paicopulos

    Faith

    I have an old,
    old man’s body,
    but I know,
    know this:
    there’s a happy,
    happy child, deep,
    deep in my heart.
    Now you might say how,
    how can I be so,
    so sure, when I can’t,
    can’t see it,
    not even with the best,
    best mirror.
    Well, I might just answer
    that I know,
    know this in the same,
    same way I know
    there’s a Uncaused
    Cause.
    That’s all.

  11. ReathaThomasOakley

    2 June 1953

    Mama was tired of bobby pinning
    my straight hair Saturday nights
    to give me curls for church
    so she bought the kit, Tonette I recall it was,
    at the drugstore there by the A&P,
    we went to Aunt Lucille’s, my daddy’s
    favorite sister, she had the rods and such.

    Uncle Ray had moved their big television
    set from the wall to right in front of the
    kitchen door, that didn’t make sense to me.

    “Big day over in England,” Aunt Lucille explained,
    “they’re crowning a queen and according
    to the TV Guide we can watch it here.”
    I was so excited I could hardly sit
    still on that ladder-backed kitchen chair
    while Aunt Lucille rolled my hair up tight
    on about a hundred curling rods.

    Mama had a surprise for me to look at
    while I sat with stinging eyes from
    all the stuff it took to fix my hair
    a paper doll book with the Queen
    her robes and jewels just like I was watching on TV.

    Getting my first permanent wave could have
    been real boring but the time just flew by
    soon I was standing on the chair
    with my head in the sink while Aunt Lucille
    poured warm water all over my new curly hair.

    Over there in London Elizabeth got her crown
    at Aunt Lucille’s I got curls and paper dolls
    and the memory of our coronation day.

  12. josephdaniel

    The Question

    The inquisitive nature of a child
    leads one to reflect on the most
    burning question of youth.
    It’s not ‘what will I be when I grow up?’
    or, ‘Is there a God up above?’,
    but a simple nod to Dad’s driving skills
    and the ultimate test of his patience
    with the perennial favourite
    ‘Are we there yet?’

  13. Tom Hayes

    CRICKY ALLEYS

    Childhood was different then.
    Right across the street
    the Crick was always there.
    Home of soaker feet
    and every triple dare.
    In dry spells that crickle
    was hardly a trickle,
    But after a storm
    the Crick would transform
    into churning brown torrents
    draining the land in a flood
    of all things plus mud
    downstream to Lake Erie.
    Caught up and washed away
    Still here today, by grace
    and desperate reaching hands.
    It never stopped the daily exploration,
    learning nature on location,
    from tadpoles and swimming holes
    to dreaming dreams on lazy strolls.
    Building rock bridges and dams.
    getting out of boyish jams.
    Childhood education was real
    with a Crick as a classroom.

    Across from the Crick
    Behind the brick house rows
    was a labyrinth world
    that every kid knows.
    The alleys hosted fantasy lives
    where children just did it
    Outdoors, rain or shine.
    until dark or ’till nine.
    The streets belonged to grown ups
    but alleys were for kids.
    Concrete play spaces
    with trash can lid bases
    After dinner the tribe would gather
    Girls and boys of all ages, and sizes
    escaping their homework
    released from their chores,
    they gathered for chase games
    to just be outdoors.
    The real magic of the alley
    was not what the kids did.
    but the world they created
    just kids being kids
    and kids making rules
    learning more in the alleys
    than locked in their schools

    Somehow as the years have passed
    the crick became a creek.
    It’s now urban greenspace,
    and has lost its mystique.
    Not appropriate for
    any child to explore
    The alleys have crumbled.
    Now they’re empty pathways
    for cars to reach garages.
    No kids running or funning.
    Most importantly – no laughing.
    Nature is experienced indoors
    and games are played on phone screens
    The kids are growing up too fast
    Childhood is a thing of the past.

    — by Tom Hayes

    1. PressOn

      Of all things, this reminds me of the old Toonerville Trolley and Gasoline Alley comics, and the childhood scenes they offered. Thanks for posting.

  14. Shennon

    Only a Child Can Dream

    Lofty, unrealistic, ambitious thoughts
    crowd the minds of children.
    They view the world as
    an expectant stage,
    waiting…
    for cataclysmic performances.

    With painstaking sadness
    too many turn their backs
    on imagination and dreams.
    Leaving “Puff” in the dust,
    waiting…
    for inevitable disappointment.

    Greedy, unrealistic, ambitious schemes
    motivate the adult majority.
    Locking down emotions,
    stoically advancing in all aspects,
    loving…
    the anticipation of the conquest.

    With resonating gladness
    several return to embrace
    fantastic elements that
    provoke imagination.
    Loving…
    infinite possibilities in the cosmos.

    –ShennonDoah

  15. Thedeb

    Mother’s Purse

    New or old,
    it mattered not.
    Brown or black,
    I really don’t recall.

    Still, certain scents
    carry me away,
    to carefree days
    of childhood bliss.

    The smell of tobacco
    almost camouflaged
    by open rolls of
    breath mints.

    The lingering hint
    of sweet perfume,
    maybe a tiny sample
    sized vial of cologne.

    And the residue of
    hairspray on the
    brush that
    teased her hair.

    After all these years,
    I guess it wasn’t really
    the aroma of “Certs”
    over cigarettes.

    Nor the common
    fragrance of
    “White Rain” or
    “Chanel #5” either.

    The bouquet of her
    purse was wonderful
    because it was hers,
    and it smelled like…love.

  16. pipersfancy

    A Child’s Country Prayer

    Bless us as we run along fall-ripened trails;
    protect us from the burrs that burrow into sweaters,
    and woolens, warm and scratchy,
    and wind-whipped stalks of golden spun wheat
    that leave their marks on ankles and bare knees.

    Forgive us for our squirmy bottoms on hard seats in
    your house, and please let Pastor Matthews talk faster,
    or say less, next week. I hope it’s not a sin to wonder,
    but- I don’t understand why Mama gets mad at me for
    twitching just a bit, while Papa’s snoring beside her.

    Thank you for making sure those bales of hay were
    in the barn today. Otherwise, I’d probably broke my
    leg jumping off the loft! Papa says he’ll fix the tree swing
    before the barn fixes me good. And, if you could,
    please send more fireflies tonight… they’re really pretty!

    AMEN

  17. Jane Shlensky

    Second Childhood, Unlimited

    We sit half bored, half-envious,
    as mothers-to-be open package
    after package of much-needed
    items every child must have,
    things we never saw before,
    things our mothers never used,
    but aware that the world has
    changed many a diaper since
    we were children. We hold
    up the tiny pinafores and onesies,
    booties and blankets and touch
    the softness of the material,
    admire the smocking, the fullness
    of infant wear and wish we had
    something roomy and soft like
    this to wear, something involving
    feet and snaps along the crotch,
    snuggle wear with kangaroos and
    bunnies, wildflowers and embroidery
    and soft soft soft as a sleeping
    baby’s breath. We are adults
    headed toward second childhood,
    having reservations about the first one,
    time pulling us as if we are skating
    downhill toward a lake of Jell-O
    and mashed potatoes, walkers gone wild.
    We touch the softness and say,
    “how sweet,” imagining ourselves
    entrepreneurs of an industry called
    Second Childhood, manufacturing
    gigantic infant fashions for the aged
    who are slowly coming home on
    the outside rail, ready for
    a comfortable change.

  18. idiaz

    “The Paletero* Man”

    On the corner
    I see the paletero man
    The bells ringing
    My eyes gleaming
    Holding a dollar in my right hand
    The warm air sticks to my body
    The air smells sweet
    The fresh cut grass is nice & neat
    In the backyard is a party
    The sun’s rays dance across my body
    Filtering through the trees
    My little sister looks up at me
    Smiling as salsa music blasts nearby
    I smile back as a car races by
    Children run in the streets
    Playing with peels of laughter to the music’s beat
    I stand in my neighborhood
    Wishing wishes that never could
    Never could be
    This is my home I never want to leave
    Looking to where the paletero man stands
    I think “this is MY land”
    I grew up here
    Never living in fear
    The people the houses
    Their culture surrounds us
    Making us their family
    Knowing one day soon this won’t be my reality
    I yell out to the paletero man
    Waving my dollar in my hand
    My sister smiles at me
    I smile back
    As the paletero man comes down the block

    *Note: Paletero is roughly translated to popsicle but a special kind of popsicle with different flavors (fruits, cookies, etc) and milk cream or water (more of a creamy texture than icy). The “paletero man” as he is called; walks around the neighborhoods pushing a freezer cart that has bells on the handle that rings as he is walking.

  19. charmuse

    Fabrication

    A green scarf
    looped across your waist,
    tied at the side
    as an exclamation point.
    It set me spinning.

    Where? I asked
    are you going?
    You said,
    matter of factly,
    dance class.

    We were four.
    I was allowed outdoors
    in front of the house
    or behind the house,
    with my sister to the end of the street,
    with my family in the car.

    How the ends of that emerald tulle
    t-r-a-i-l-e-d when you skipped,
    a trail I followed…over the streets
    past the cars out of the city
    to the sea,
    like a shimmery net
    with ebb and flow
    of cadency,
    the deep green folds
    billowing with treasures.

    Yes,
    my mother said,
    I could go too.

    ~ Charise Hoge
    http://www.mixandmosspoetry.com/

  20. Doakley

    Bicycle Motorcycle

    My bicycle was so passé,
    but it was all I could afford,
    so I decided to make it a motorcycle,
    with just a few pieces of old cardboard.

    I folded strips of cardboard over,
    clipped it in my spokes,
    so when I rode my bicycle,
    it made a noise for folks.

    It was not a perfect plan however,
    because if in reverse you slipped,
    the spokes would catch the cardboard wrong
    and your motor came unclipped.

  21. grcran

    braids

    good old boys beerchugging back to childhood
    self-made slackers shooting selfie schtick
    splinters of the elemental joy and how it felt
    discovery excitement magnetic
    currents coursing smells of spice embraces
    warm and cozy comfort happy hugs
    reminiscent retinue from far away still tied
    to braids of childhood tethered heartstring tugs

    by gpr crane

  22. josephdaniel

    Bat and Ball

    The yard was small,
    so we played with a
    plastic bat and ball.
    It was Yankee Stadium,
    or Fenway Park,
    depending on the call,
    but we loved playing
    ‘plastic bat and ball’.
    In our minds, we heard
    the crowd roar.

    The games were intense
    in the summer heat,
    running the bases
    in our size five feet.
    We’d have tournaments and playoffs
    and championship series.
    We played until our bodies
    were rendered weary.
    In our minds, we were
    all-star squads.

    Entire summers
    consumed us all,
    with our cherished
    plastic bat and ball.
    In our minds, we envisioned
    them hanging around
    the halls and walls
    of Cooperstown.

  23. Doakley

    Grandchildren

    I held my granddaughter,
    one year old going on six,
    on my lap, head laying
    back in my arms.

    Gazing into her sleepy eyes
    watching her eyelids
    grow heavy and droop as
    I softly run one finger

    over her pink satiny cheek, trace
    my fingertip gently around her lips
    touching her face like a whisper from
    the wings of a butterfly.

    My fingers brushed a stray
    lock of soft silken hair back from
    her face as she drifted off to sleep.
    I think she knows Grandpa loves her.

  24. SestinaNia

    This one was super hard for me–but finally, we have something 🙂

    Recapturing Innocence

    “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis

    I once had the power
    to float down the staircase
    and never touch
    step nor rail…
    when I am young,
    again,
    (or old enough)
    I’ll try
    walking on water.

  25. taylor graham

    INTO THE LOOKING GLASS

    She ventures eager for a sign –
    time-lapse compressed bytes like interstices

    in a genealogy, how elements
    combine and mutate out of nowhere – a chance

    conjunction of stars, celestial beacon.
    She waits accumulating

    fingerprints on wireless mouse
    like a personal history.

    The message, her own enigmatic life-
    line illuminated by the screen –

    her birth, so recent, already lost
    to her own memory.

  26. seingraham

    A KITCHEN NOW, A WAGON THEN, AND YOU

    When the gauzy curtains flutter over the kitchen sink,
    they allow childhood memories to slip unbidden
    into the room as fresh and fully formed
    as if they’d taken place just yesterday and not decades ago.
    More often than not, you come tugging your big burgundy
    wagon with the wonky wheels, sometimes carting Nipper
    our grey tabby, sometimes not.
    I permit these to float around me and luxuriate in them
    as they’re gentle and from before the hard times.
    Back when you used to tell me your hair wasn’t dirty blonde,
    it was varnish-colour; you’d stand against the door for proof.
    Your eyes, still the colour of Lake Ontario in the sunshine,
    were sparkly…happy coloured I think now, looking back.
    Even in our kitchen I see you offering me a ride in the wagon,
    know it for the ruse it used to be…really, I’ll end up towing
    you somewhere, but it doesn’t matter, I’d do it gladly
    if it brought you back to life.

  27. Maeflower

    A Wasp on a Leash

    A snack-sized ziploc bag
    with the crumbs of crackers
    packed by mom
    in its seams.

    A gardening glove,
    too big,
    with its floral fabric
    imitating the garden.

    A spool of thread,
    a cotton rivulet
    trailing in the grass
    we wished we were
    old enough to cut.

    A younger sister,
    with her gloved hand
    and darkened toes.

    We caught our childhood
    in the mouth of a
    sweaty ziploc bag,
    a whispering spirit cornered in plastic
    before a slight hand reached in
    pinching it between
    thumb and finger,
    so a clipped thread
    could be strung around and tied.

    But how little we knew then,
    for not everything
    must be leashed.

  28. Amaria

    “Too Young”

    too young
    to know what lies
    beneath dark surfaces
    innocent eyes
    shields visions that would
    damage naïve hearts
    we all wish
    to keep them locked
    inside protective shells
    too young
    but in time they
    all grow up

  29. Amaria

    In the eyes of a child
    friendship is colorblind
    until someone comes along
    and taints that innocent heart
    drawing borders in fields
    where we once roam free

  30. shellcook

    Childhood

    Childhood was the serial killer
    who lived across the street from me.

    I was unprepared for the violence.
    I was just a naive child,
    starved for affection, even then.

    I wandered through the deep green woods,
    hoping to find the perfect friend
    I met him there, though didn’t know
    enough to notice, friend or foe.

    When you’re four, everyone’s a friend.
    Something wrong, even then,
    his family life felt not quite right,
    but I just knew I’d found a friend.

    There were no birds, where this boy lived,
    no cats, nor dogs around these woods.
    but the world was new and now I learn,
    I was profiling even then.

    Anne Michelle Cook
    5/21/15

      1. shellcook

        Thanks! Yes it was shocking to me too. I never speak about that time and the fact that this was the image that came up for the childhood prompt, took me completely by surprise. I guess it is time to pull the pin out and see if it explodes. Lol

  31. deringer1

    little girl, what do you see?
    what do you think
    as you gaze about at mountains so high,
    at skies white-splashed with clouds,
    your lovely long hair flying,
    your little body knowing not where to turn
    at the wonder of it all.

    and then a flower catches your attention.
    a flower,
    a common yellow flower
    young and free like you and
    you must have it.
    so you pluck it with your strong brown fingers,
    crouching in your little girl ease
    and looking close,
    examining the wonder of the world
    all there in something so small
    while the mountains rise in majesty nearby
    and you play in the grass.

    pick the flowers,enjoy them while you may
    little one, for soon
    you also will be wrenched from your roots
    and the ordinary in your life
    will never be important
    again.

  32. angieinspired

    i used to sing in my bedroom

    &i was happy beyond all reason
    beyond all crabgrass &homemade curtain
    with bits-o-honey saved back on my shelf
    farrah fawcett’s teeth were smiling at me

    i was a horse with a mop for a mane
    jumping puddles &jumping real hurdles
    i practiced a hook shot over and up
    and when it’s best to leap off from a swing

    i raked the untouchable skies back then
    i had no reason to think of the sea
    with peas &carrots on brown china plates
    thoughts on a ceiling; free-floating as dreams

    and yes actually, i had a tree
    with bendy branch for an elevator
    among dad’s pompas grass &blue fescue
    my bones willed themselves to be un-broken

    i could go /toe-to-toe/ in /tic-tac-toe/
    with anne murray or helen of ready
    spinning their gold upstairs in my room
    where i was happy beyond all reason

  33. sppeac1987

    The Simple Joy

    There used to be so much surprise,
    Waiting beyond those stairs.
    Boxes of all shapes and sizes,
    Teasing us until tomorrow
    When they would be torn, exposed,
    Innards taken by tiny, tremulous hands.

    Hidden within is what we hungered for,
    What we harried and hassled for,
    Until the overlords finally relented
    And granted us our gaudy trinkets,
    But under agreement of sealing them
    Until some absurdly arbitrary date.

    Yet the greatest gifts of all
    Were the ones we could not predict.
    Unexpected booty soon uncovered,
    To keep impish rogues on their toes,
    The wait suddenly becoming worth
    Restraining our rascally ways for.

    Like unwrapping the usual candies,
    So unassuming they’d look, ordinary,
    Until finding that sweet centre,
    A secret flavour discovered,
    Heaven to our innocent tongues,
    Delirium in a tiny package.

    Yes, a simple pleasure indeed,
    Playing until pitch-black night,
    With no cares or concerns,
    And no place to be in the morn.
    Precious gifts given to us by magic,
    With no exchange expected.

    But now, once we have grown,
    It slips through our wrinkly fingers,
    The simple joy of surprise.
    We are asked what we desire,
    Instead of anyone guessing,
    So we long for those simple days.

    The simple, precious days
    Where anything surprised our little minds.

  34. Hannah

    I’m very sorry about your grandfather, Robert.

    Thank you, for the post.

    🙂

    Afield (a haiku)

    Dreams and wishes plucked
    dandelion blooms gone by
    gathered in small hands.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2015

  35. Jezzie

    THE GOLDEN OLDEN DAYS

    Liberty bodices, long woolly socks
    itchy vests, gingham and candy striped frocks,
    hand me down clothes from my richer cousin,
    handed down then to another dozen.

    Holidays were always spent in the sun
    at holiday camps where we kids had fun.
    No washing machines, fridges, nor TV’s,
    our time was spent larking around in trees.

    If we were naughty we would get a smack
    and we would never dare to answer back.
    Sixpence a week was our pocket money
    and a treat would be crumpets with honey.

  36. annell

    Childhood

    a time wishes came true and happy endings sing a song of six pence

    the tooth fairy always came left a penny under the pillow pocket full of rye

    parents and grandparents would always be here ashes ashes

    a small child with a child’s world view we all fall down

    May 21, 2015

    1. annell

      Childhood

      a time wishes came true      and happy endings      sing a song of six pence

      the tooth fairy always came      left a penny under the pillow      pocket full of rye

      parents and grandparents      would always be here      ashes      ashes

      a small child      with a child’s world view      we all fall down

      May 21, 2015

  37. Heather

    canada homes*

    Muddy streets,
    row upon row upon row,
    houses line up shoulder to shoulder
    like little soldiers ready for battle.
    Brother and his friend play
    with scaled down
    construction trucks
    imitating the men building
    our neighbourhood.
    My friend and I
    act most unladylike
    splash through new puddles
    covering ourselves in mud,
    getting hosed off before going inside
    to rest up for tomorrow.

    *Canada Homes refers to both growing up here in the Canadian Suburbs, and the developer of our massive subdivision.

    also published (with a photo of me at that construction site) at http://heatherbutton.com/2015/05/21/canada-homes-a-poem/

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