Judith Viorst |
My pants could maybe fall down when I dive off the diving board.
My nose could maybe keep growing and never quit.
Miss Brearly could ask me to spell words like stomach and special.
(Stumick and speshul?)
I could play tag all day and always be "it.
Jay Spievack, who's fourteen feet tall, could want to fight me.
My mom and my dad--like Ted's--could want a divorce.
Miss Brearly could ask me a question about Afghanistan.
Somebody maybe could make me ride a horse.
My mother could maybe decide that I needed more liver.
My dad could decide that I needed less TV.
Miss Brearly could say that I have to write script and stop printing.
(I'm better at printing.
Chris could decide to stop being friends with me.
The world could maybe come to an end on next Tuesday.
The ceiling could maybe come crashing on my head.
I maybe could run out of things for me to worry about.
And then I'd have to do my homework instead.
Judith Viorst |
My mom says I'm her sugarplum.
My mom says I'm her lamb.
My mom says I'm completely perfect
Just the way I am.
My mom says I'm a super-special wonderful terrific little guy.
My mom just had another baby.
Denise Duhamel |
At first she was sure it was just a bit of dried strawberry juice,
or a fleck of her mother's red nail polish that had flaked off
when she'd patted her daughter to sleep the night before.
But as she scrubbed, Snow felt a bump, something festering
under the surface, like a tapeworm curled up and living
in her left cheek.
Doc the Dwarf was no dermatologist
and besides Snow doesn't get to meet him in this version
because the mint leaves the tall doctor puts over her face
only make matters worse.
Snow and the Queen hope
against hope for chicken pox, measles, something
that would be gone quickly and not plague Snow's whole
If only freckles were red, she cried, if only
concealer really worked.
Soon came the pus, the yellow dots,
multiplying like pins in a pin cushion.
the greasy hair.
The Queen gave her daughter a razor
for her legs and a stick of underarm deodorant.
doodled through her teenage years—"Snow + ?" in Magic
Markered hearts all over her notebooks.
She was an average
student, a daydreamer who might have been a scholar
if she'd only applied herself.
She liked sappy music
and romance novels.
She liked pies and cake
instead of fruit.
The Queen remained the fairest in the land.
It was hard on Snow, having such a glamorous mom.
She rebelled by wearing torn shawls and baggy gowns.
Her mother would sometimes say, "Snow darling,
why don't you pull back your hair? Show those pretty eyes?"
or "Come on, I'll take you shopping.
staying in her safe room, looking out of her window
at the deer leaping across the lawn.
Or she'd practice
her dance moves with invisible princes.
And the Queen,
busy being Queen, didn't like to push it.
More great poems below...
Sharon Olds |
She was four, he was one, it was raining, we had colds,
we had been in the apartment two weeks straight,
I grabbed her to keep her from shoving him over on his
face, again, and when I had her wrist
in my grasp I compressed it, fiercely, for a couple
of seconds, to make an impression on her,
to hurt her, our beloved firstborn, I even almost
savored the stinging sensation of the squeezing,
the expression, into her, of my anger,
"Never, never, again," the righteous
chant accompanying the clasp.
It happened very
fast-grab, crush, crush,
crush, release-and at the first extra
force, she swung her head, as if checking
who this was, and looked at me,
and saw me-yes, this was her mom,
her mom was doing this.
deeply open eyes took me
in, she knew me, in the shock of the moment
she learned me.
This was her mother, one of the
two whom she most loved, the two
who loved her most, near the source of love
Sergei Yesenin |
Are you still alive, my dear granny?
I am alive as well. Hello! Hello!
May there always be above you, honey,
The amazing stream of evening glow.
I"ve been told that hiding your disquiet,
Worrying about me a lot,
You go out to the roadside every night,
Wearing your shabby overcoat.
In the evening darkness, very often,
You conceive the same old scene of blood:
Kind of in a tavern fight some ruffian
Plunged a Finnish knife into my heart.
Now calm down, mom! And don"t be dreary!
It"s a painful fiction through and through.
I"m not so bad a drunkard, really,
As to die without seeing you.
I"m your tender son as ever, dear,
And the only thing I dream of now
Is to leave this dismal boredom here
And return to our little house. And how!
I"ll return in spring without warning
When the garden blossoms, white as snow.
Please don"t wake me early in the morning,
As you did before, eight years ago.
Don"t disturb my dreams that now have flown,
Don"t perturb my vain and futile strife
For it"s much too early that I"ve known
Heavy loss and weariness in life.
Please don"t teach me how to say my prayers!
There is no way back to what is gone.
You"re my only joy, support and praise
And my only flare shining on.
Please forget about your pain and fear,
and don"t worry over me a lot
Don"t go out to the roadside, dear,
Wearing your shabby overcoat.
Charles Webb |
He's had the chest pains for weeks,
but doctors don't make house
calls to the North Pole,
he's let his Blue Cross lapse,
blood tests make him faint,
hospital gown always flap
open, waiting rooms upset
his stomach, and it's only
indigestion anyway, he thinks,
until, feeding the reindeer,
he feels as if a monster fist
has grabbed his heart and won't
breathe, and the beautiful white
world he loves goes black,
and he drops on his jelly belly
in the snow and Mrs.
tears out of the toy factory
wailing, and the elves wring
their little hands, and Rudolph's
nose blinks like a sad ambulance
light, and in a tract house
in Houston, Texas, I'm 8,
telling my mom that stupid
kids at school say Santa's a big
fake, and she sits with me
on our purple-flowered couch,
and takes my hand, tears
in her throat, the terrible
news rising in her eyes.
Charles Webb |
Its silver clasp looks like a man grasping
his hands above his head in victory;
the latches, like twin hatchbacks headed away.
There are no wheels, just four steel nipples for sliding.
A hexagonal seal announces the defunct
" The frame is wood—
big, heavy, cheap—covered with imitation leather,
its blue just slightly darker than Mom's eyes.
Much too expensive," she told Dad,
and kissed him.
The lining is pink, quilted
Three sides have pouches with elastic tops—
stretched out now, like old underwear.
I watched Mom pack them with panties and brassieres
when I was so little she didn't blush.
The right front corner has been punctured and crushed.
(I could have choked the baggage handler.
The handle—blue plastic doorknocker—
is fringed with wrinkled tags from United, Delta,
Air (which crunched the hole, flying
the suitcase back from Houston).
I'd gone there
to see Mom in the "home," and save some boyhood
relics before my sister gave them to Good Will.
"Take mine," Mom said, hearing my suitcase was full.
"I won't need luggage, the next place I go.