You were beautiful,
my tiny child,
wrapped tightly in my arms,
close to my heart.
I listened to you breathing.
I counted your fingers
and your toes.
you cried out to me
and I loved you
with every ounce of my soul.
Will you hear me
when I cry out?
Will you hold me close
as I held you then?
I remember the day
You took your first step.
There was no stopping you.
Your feet gave you freedom
to explore the world
like never before
but danger lurked.
I opened those doors anyway,
you to the world.
Where will you be
when my legs
no longer run?
no longer work?
Will you realize
that I love
about that day
you first tied your shoe.
We tried and tried
to get that rabbit
in that hole
and you finally did it.
You pointed your toes
for everyone to see
how proud you were.
I am proud too,
of my writing
and my drawing,
of my needlework
and my cooking.
But my hands are beginning to ache
and my fingers will not bend.
I will lose the things
that make me proud
except for you.
Hopefully not you.
Will you let me
brag on you?
Even tell wild stories
that are a bit beyond the truth?
Will you be proud of me too?
I waved good-bye
that morning when you left
on that large, yellow bus.
I was so scared.
I know you were too.
You waved at me bravely
through the dusty window
but I saw the water
forming in your eyes.
You came home, however,
full of pride and joy.
You sang the alphabet song
and got most of it right.
You practiced for hours
until you could sing it
even in your sleep.
whether I took
my pills today or not.
if I told this story before.
I even forgot once
who you were
and it terrified me.
is my treasure
the only thing I have left,
and I heard you make
fun of me
for not remembering
that I gave you the
same gift as last year.
Will you love me
when I no longer
know who I am?
You came home blushing
from the glow of
your first kiss.
Your first love,
the one you thought was real.
You talked about him non-stop.
You changed for him. You gave.
But he left you anyway
for a blue-eyed girl
and I held you
while you cried for him.
I too have a
The love of my life
left me after
He left me here
to live life on my own
while he moved on
to another realm
And I cry for him too.
I long for his shoulder
and strong embrace.
I feel betrayed
because he and I
made a deal
that we would never
leave the other alone.
Yet I am alone
sitting in an echoing house
with no hands to hold.
You welcomed her home today-
your tiny baby girl.
She has your eyes
and possibly your toes.
I see you counting them
as they roll me
into the room.
You finally came
It has been a while.
You look up at me
with tears in your eyes
"Will she tie my
when I get old? "
Copyright © Rachel Kovacs | Year Posted 2013
I remember as a young boy, going out to play, I would sometimes see old Mr. Kimball, sitting on the steps of his porch, often reading the paper. World War II was in full swing so the newspapers and radios were avidly sought out for the latest news. Mr. Kimball was a fireman, and probably not even that old, but he seemed that way to me.
Sometimes, he would invite me to sit with him and we would talk about everything and nothing. I loved spending time with him because, he was the only grown up I knew that took the time to entertain the mind of a young boy.
In his front window hung a small flag. It had a red border surrounding a white field, upon which there were two blue stars. I was always curious about it, so I asked him what it was. He said “It's a Sons in Service flag. One star for each son serving. You remember my boys don't you?” I did of course. Chuck, the oldest, used to tease me, calling me a sissy to get a reaction. Bobby was a couple of years younger, and the bike I was riding once had been his.
Mr. Kimball went on to explain how Chuck was now in the Army and fighting in France. Bobby was in the Navy, aboard a ship somewhere in the Pacific. He didn't say it, but I'm sure he was worried about both, communications being what they were back then.
One day, when I was walking over to see him, I noticed that the flag had changed. It now carried one blue star, but the other one was gold. With the innocence that comes of being a child, I asked what the gold star meant. He quietly said “It means Chuck is coming home”, and without further comment, he turned and went in the house.
A couple of days later, I saw a hearse pull up to the Kimballs house, and four men carry a flag draped box up the porch steps. That is the moment the meaning of war came to a small boy. I knew Chuck was home.
Copyright © Bob Quigley | Year Posted 2012
On the south-western side of the old mission school,
on the corner of 1st, where the blackberries grew
a field claimed by children, was crosshatched with tracks
It was riddled by gophers and, nettled with foxtails
and youthful bare feet had constructed thin trails,
cupping deep paths that were littered with smiles,
deep in the amber of weeds and tall grass.
It wasn't far beyond a patched wire fence
that hemmed my Grandmother's russet old house.
Westerly whirlwinds would rattle the ragweed,
while seeds of the bull-thorns, that prickled our toes,
would race with the tumbleweeds, tossed into rows
like last winter's snowmen, worn to the bone
There were traces of honeysuckle mixed with wild rose
from Grandma's old arbor, that loomed in the distance
A rusty old weathervane, cruised 'round, and 'round
The ivy was overgrown, and a sleepy old hound
would snooze by the clothesline, in shade he had found
But, deep in the field, was a land of our own
A place we called 'Neverland', a loft in the wind
In the yoke of one tree, with the help of our dad
was a fort built of scrap wood, from piles by the shed.
And by hook or by crook, I would take all commands
While my brother's brewed brainstorms, and his black plastic hook,
assigned him the Captain, while I was the crew
of a ramshackle galleon, brought to life from our books
While I dangled in air, from a tired old swing
"Tinker", my name...in this masculine game..
I would push off, while he pulled me, right up to the sky
and into the branches, with leaves in my eyes......
I would fly to the depth's of a steel gray-blue sky
I would grovel, and shovel, to have his approval........
for he was much older, much wiser than me
I would play like a tomboy,.....shove doll-drums away
Such sweet summer days,......while bright splintered rays
of hot summer sun, would spotlight our play.
We would stay until twilight, to watch the sun die
Defying all gravity.......I could see to eternity
Tootsie Pops clung to the tip of our tongues
while the sun of the twilight, dipped over the dunes
and the call of our mother, slipped over the moon
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2014
I am standing outside my bedroom, on the precipice of lost innocence.
Wide eyed, and barefoot on cold hardwood.
Someone is hammering on our front door.
My father, looking a bit annoyed, shuffles anxiously down the stairs.
Tussled hair, a bewildered vein bulging in his forehead,
wearing his old, blue plaid robe, (one with a woven rope belt),
he frowns like a lightweight boxer, ready to enter the ring.
There are two grim faced policemen waiting on the front porch.
My mother, at the top of the stairs, clutches the neck of her gown.
She looks as if she might choke herself.
Confused alarm, reflects in sleep-swollen eyes.
They ask my father, “How well do you know those folks across the road?”
As they notice me standing on the stairs, they quickly lower their voices.
In a hushed, rather husky monotone, they whisper to my father...
something about a boy who has taken a shotgun into the hillls...
and into the chill of the night…
He has taken his own life…and has been identified as the boy...,
the teenager, who lives kitty-corner across our road.
The same kid who mowed our grass when Dad was sick for a spell last summer.
The one who bags Mom’s groceries at the local A & P.
They think I don’t hear them ……but I do…
and I hear them ask my father,
would he, please, come along to help them break the news?
My father, glazed eyes, and head low, steps away a moment, to quickly dress.
I remember hearing my mother gasp, then suck in a sob,..
But then is right behind me, pulling me towards her…..
and I can feel her heart pounding, through flannel of my pajamas.
She is squeezing my shoulders..so hard that it hurts,.... somehow I don’t mind.
I look up seeking reassurance,.... her eyes are huge, …
and she knows that I have heard….
And we both know,...that nothing will ever be the same.
After this day is over, the childhood of yesterday, will wear a different face…
Father pulls a coat over his pajama tops, …he gives my mother a touch on the arm.
With a desolate look at me, he touches my head.
He steps out into the darkness of a not quite dawn.
And through the window, I can see the line of shadows on the lawn.
Three men, like hunched over soldiers, walking slowly into the wounds of a new day.
(Sadly, this is based on a true story)
100 in a ROW contest #1 - Poetry Contest
Sponsored by P.D.
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2011
Naiveté wraps the child
until the chills slowly
begin to snuggle in,
smothering the illusions leaving
the residuals of sickness
that is man.
Sponsor: Nette Onclaud
Entrant: Rob Carmack
Word Count: 25
My person was the entire human race. As a child, I viewed adults as ethically advanced and emotionally stable. Thought of world as an Utopia – the best trip I ever had. From this disappointment, I was given the contrast to appreciate forgiveness and those I found that are advanced.
Copyright © rob carmack | Year Posted 2015
Stepping out of the car, my father and I
after a shattering night
the skies were a dismal gray
The end of the world had taken all the light away
And dawn had taken all hope, and then had sucked all the air away
Even tears had nowhere to land
Frozen thick in our throats like dry desert sand
If just one would escape, how could they stop? ...no shoulder, ...no dam
My Dad was in shock, as he stood by the gate,
a glaze in his eyes, ...... and a million years old
My feet froze in place, my knees shivered cold
but without hesitation, I grabbed hold of his hand
I took him inside, and with deliberate intrusion
I fed him some soup, and put him to bed
He was the child, and I the adult
Day after day, somehow by default
our roles were reversed, ...and I became strong
My childhood had ended,.....and his had begun
For "The Fault Line" Contest
sponsored by Anthony Slausen
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2015
It wasn't the usual Halloween night
Of parties and goblins, of which there'd been many
It was a year of big changes, for our family had moved
At ten years old, I was still struggling and shy
And, in a brand new school, where no one gave me an eye
I'd been replanted and torn,, forlorn and alone
Late in October...uprooted and lost
On Halloween night, it rained and it poured
It seemed the end of the world...I was unhappy and bored
Leaving what had been so familiar and sure
Where our old street had been filled, with a million new thrills
Now, here in the boondocks, ...no one came to the door
I was dressed to go out...but storms drenched the night
My mom understood....and tried to keep bright
She went up to her room, made up her face
She combed up her hair, until it stood on it's roots
Covered her face with black fireplace soot
She threw on her robe, and pulled on dad's boots
Crept out the back door, and to the front porch
When the doorbell rang....I jumped in delight!
Trick-or-treaters had come to our house this dark night!!
When I opened the door, at first I didn't see
It was mom, ...trying to hard, bring me some glee!
She grabbed me and laughed and pulled me to come
Out into the rainstorm....up the road we would run
We ran in the downpour, getting soaked to our skin
Laughing and yelling....such fun it had been!
Later that night, we warmed by the fire
She let me stay up....no one was tired
So cozy and warm...no longer so cold
With popcorn, and candy...and the ghost stories told
That one Halloween, on that night of the storm
Was the best Halloween....and reminds me of home.....
I'll never forget when each Halloween comes
The candy, the fun.... and the gift from my mom.....
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2010
I was dressed as a witch for Halloween that year long ago,
And with my friends we were going from house to house;
At that time kids could still do that without fear,
Our street was perfect for Halloween trick or treating fun.
It was a hill with many cozy old homes some heritage,
They all had big covered porches and glowing windows;
And all were nestled behind great ancient trees,
It was a memory I cherish, one of innocence and sweet joy.
Sometimes, I was a princess, or a ghost, or a pirate,
And other times it was hard to tell exactly what I was;
The leaves crunched under our feet; the air crisp,
Mother told us, "only go to houses that have Jack-O-Lanterns."
"TRICK OR TREAT!" We would yell when the door opened,
But if the person said, "TRICK!" We would be so confused;
When my bag got real heavy, I took my loot home,
And had a costume adjustment or even maybe a change.
At the top of the hill was an old house; a haunted house,
It was dark and rundown and had a nasty black cat hissing;
A real witch lived there; she ate little kids I was told,
Mother said, "don't be mean, she is just a lonely, old lady."
I would like to tell you about the old lady who lived there,
But that is a whole different story, maybe another time;
After the trick or treating, we examined all our treasures,
Our loot consisted of candy and chips, apples and other stuff.
I gave mother the apples, she seemed to like them a lot,
My baby brother tried to eat all my candy but I hid them;
Mother said, "don't eat it all at once!" (mother that is silly)
The next day, "oh mommy, my tummy hurts so bad, bad!"
October 6, 2015
For the contest, Happy Halloween, sponsor, Kelly Deschler
Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2015
A child with a crayon can color an imaginary world,
With dolls of mommies, daddies, boys and girls,
Full of horses, cowboys, cars and trains,
Can scratch them out and draw them all again,
Color me a rainbow with a pot of gold,
Color me a fairy with ribbons and bows,
Paint my face, a bright yellow sun,
In a green grassy field where a blue river runs,
With mountains and trees set in a colorful scene,
Monkey bars, teeter-totters, an old tire swing,
Color my face with a bright happy smile,
In a wonderful world, if only for awhile,
I can pretend my life is happy and gay,
Not worry about the mean stuff, just for the day,
Not worry about what I will eat, or where I will sleep,
Or the cockroaches and rats that make me creep,
Color me a family with brothers and sisters,
Color me a man to call Daddy, not Mister,
Color my mom in a bright yellow dress,
Stretched in a hammock under a tree with a nest,
In the yard of the house, we can call our own,
With neighbors on each side of our lovely home,
Color my dreams carefree and wild,
Color my life always as a child,
Color me a father, color me a Dad,
Color me the life that I never had.
Color me a garden with fruits of all kinds,
Apples, pears with grapes on the vine,
Color me a crayon that’s really a crayon,
Not this old sharpened pencil that I just found,
To draw my picture on this brown paper bag,
That was once filled with gin and Ole’ Granddad,
Now, Dream me a dream…Once upon a time,
I had a real father that I can call mine!
Copyright © Steven Miller | Year Posted 2006
The sun poured through the window of my attic room,
shafts of sunlight- spotlights on the wood floor;
I got out of bed to soak up the morning sunlight,
and placed my doll on the window ledge-
while I went to wash my face- comb my long dark hair,
I quickly dressed in jeans and a t-shirt . . .
I climbed down the steep stairs to the kitchen,
grandma was already asleep in her rocker- snoring;
mother put a bowl of cereal on the table and milk,
(she didn't smile- she never did anymore)
all she said to me was, "get that doll off the table!"
I quickly finished and grabbed my pink backpack,
I put doll inside and walked slowly down the street;
to the park where ducks drifted on a silent pond,
I had some bread from my supper last night.
Then, I went to the church and opened the ornate door,
going quietly past huge columns to the chapel;
I had a nickel- I had found and so I lit one small candle,
for my sister, whispering, I miss you Susie . . .
I followed a secret path in the forest to my special place,
leaning up against an old tree and taking out my doll;
my pencil, my paper and began to write but stopped-
as tears fell from my lonely eyes . . .
there is still a lot of that little girl inside me . . .
March 5, 2017
Copyright Protected, ID 882210
March 2017 Premier Contest
Sponsor, Brian Strand
Open Poetry Contest,
Charlotte Jade Puddifoot, NA
Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2017
My daughter`s budgie "Sissie" died a late night
The next morning I told her that "Sissie" was dead
With tears on her eyes and cheeks, she asked her mom
- Is "Sissie" in heaven with God and grandmother ?
- Yes, she is with God, grandmother and the angels
I answer her
Surprised at this answer, my daughter investigate
whether it was true
She walks into the room where the cage with
the budgie used to stand
After a short while, she runs back to mom....
- Mom, mom.... God has not only taken "Sissie"
- God has taken the cage too
This is a true story - - - from gold child`s mouth
dedicated to: Laila A.Mjelde
A-L Andresen :9
Copyright © All Rights Reserved
Copyright © Sunshine Smile | Year Posted 2012
I remember the land of drums I was born
bedded beneath great hangin' nets,
the sound of the conch and the horn!
My blue suitcase filled with stuff,
the red tricycle and pedal car
that made me race and made me puff!
I remember the hounds of revolution nightly howl
on the streets of my island home...
so now I reign afar in melancholic exile
as might a king denied his throne
I remember my first day of school so bleak,
a gingerbread house on Picton Street
where I first kissed a sweetheart cheek!
Hearken tales of men in Sherwood...
Nelly Stone in her rockin' chair
readin' the Adventures of Robin Hood.
The loud guttural yard turkeys' gobble and flap,
and kids singin' their songs of joy,
I remember the year, the girl, the sounds
in all its virtue when I was a boy
I remember the front yard we would play
and the annex rooms we called home -
livin' and growin' and findin' our way!
Wavin' at the Queen's royal parade
down on Saint Clair Avenue
in the crowds followin' her motorcade.
I remember huddled around the old valve radio,
long siestas in the hot afternoon
till late beneath a corner streetlight halo
ravin' drunk slumped Blue Moon
I remember sticky chewy peanut brittle
with my cold Nestle chocolate milk,
and gorgin' my tummy little by little!
Behold Down-the-Islands dashin'
in a boat out on Staubles Bay -
the sea spray across the bow crashin'!
Watchin' as darkness fell the high moon and tide
shinin' on bay and jetty so bright,
when, as young eyes grew weary, I would
rest at peace through the night
I remember all dressed for Sunday School,
and afternoons at the Country Club
splashin' around in the swimmin' pool!
And at sea playin' captain and sailor
on board a ship Panama bound
in my cabin with my toy car and trailer!
I remember the ports and voyage of no return
into the yonder crossin' the equator,
when old Neptune rose from the undersea
to bless our ship and navigate her
Copyright © Keith Trestrail | Year Posted 2014
Rain is brewing;
black clouds hang over the Cockpit Country.
Them rainclouds have a habit of shifting colors like a lizard.
The smell of the pending shower is strong on September’s breath;
the sun take a well-deserved break.
Mango season is long gone,
and bellies are tied up in knots.
Naseberries; they accompanied the mangoes.
Them guys from abroad,
who bought the government land across from the football field,
slaughtered them faithful guava trees.
They build condos,
but poor people can’t eat condos.
How inconsiderate them big-shot government boys are.
We (me, Footloose, and Squealie) device a plan,
when our bellies start telling us something must be done,
but we have to wait ‘til darkness falls,
‘cause bushes have eyes in sunlight.
While everyone sleeps in the bosom of the night,
we put on our birthday suits,
and scale the barbed wire fence at the back of the house.
We are now one with the blinding shadows.
We race carelessly across the open pasture;
burrs biting at our tender flesh,
and mosquitoes humming maddening music in our ears.
We tip toe on the dry leaves,
using our hands as shields
to fend off the razor-sharp edges of the cane leaves.
We drop down on all four, bellies on the ground;
we navigate the rows like them American marines – naked and all.
We ate our full,
and Squealie wet the bed that night.
Them sugarcane have a way of making us hyper.
Footloose fell from a Poinciana tree and fractured his hand,
but we stayed energized that fall.
Copyright © Earle Brown | Year Posted 2010
Love is a season.
And holidays mark the seasons, and years like signs in the road,
reflecting the bumps in our journey, but showing us a way back home.
Sixteen, in pajamas, watching the rain pelt down,
it was long past midnight, Christmas eve.
Twinkling lights on one house across the road, stared back at me.
It was if they were trying to fill our dark house with color.
The block was filled with a hundred lighted windows.
But the blackness of our own, somehow, seemed more appropriate.
There was no Christmas tree in our house that year.
I suppose Dad felt it was too soon, or perhaps just the effort to get through each day
had taken all the strength he had.
We had stayed up and watched a Christmas program together.
Perry Como, I think it was, for I think I remember he sang "Ava Maria", and Dad got teary eyed.
My brother had come home from the Air Force earlier that week,
trying to help bring us a bit of cheer,....at least, for awhile,
but he had been called back to duty, and I missed him terribly.
The house was silent after Dad had gone to bed.
I wasn't sleepy,....and it was lonely looking out at the cold night
It seemed the whole world was sleeping, waiting for Christmas.
As I finally headed for bed, I noticed a light had been left on in the front coat closet.
I opened the door, and looking up, to pull the chain, I noticed the box.
The shoe box that had kept the sugar cube house, safe, dry, and out of harm's way.
A sugar cube house that Mom and I had made together when I was 8 years old.
Little sugar cubes stacked into walls, and a roof, glued together with red frosting.
We had copied one out of her Good Housekeeping magazine that year,
and had surrounded it with little trees, and a oval mirror pond, and items we had found at the 5 and 10 cent store. She had carefully packed it all away last year.
After her last Christmas.
Late into the night, I sat in the dimness of the house, laying out the sugary scene on the fireplace mantel....just as Mom would have done.
When the freckled morning moved into day...I woke on the sofa...Dad sitting next to me. He had covered me with a warm blanket, and had fallen asleep beside me.
After breakfast....he disappeared outside, and soon came in carrying a sorry looking branch from our old evergreen tree.
We decorated that bedraggled branch...it wasn't the most beautiful tree we had ever had, but it brought Christmas back to my family.
For Deb's Contest: A Christmas Tale
(Inspired by "The Match Girl" By H.C. Anderson
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2014
I'm sitting cross legged on the side of the road
while Dad holds my shoulders, in trying to console me,
but tears, uncontrolled, keep tumbling down.
Most stunning, right now, is the fear, I've not known
Never before, .....had I felt so alone.
Reality has settled, like darkness around me
A first-time encounter with death and it's toll
Though, how many times, I have played out the role?
It was always the same.....
Just a game to be played
The drama? Just kid's-stuff.....who knew what it meant?
Bang, Bang you're dead!...
Point a finger .... he's dead
A stab, rubber swords, ... at my eight year old heart ?
While slowly, with drama, we played out the parts
Our death scenes, .....pretending to take a last breath
Then, back on our knees, and up in a flash
ready again, to reverse all the rules......
Death wasn't real........and never this cruel
Tonight, driving home
a deer out of nowhere,
A thump, and a jar, a flash in the light
And in the dash of a moment, ....a crumpling crash
Make-believe shatters, in the path of our car
Dad reaching his hand, to check I'm alright
Then opens the door out into the night
Reluctantly I follow his somber silhouette
And met by a moment I'll never forget
The air bitter cold, has taken our breaths
I turn eyes away, but now it's too late
Glass lifeless eyes stare back in the lights
I'm strangled by silence, and the shattering sight
as still and cold, as real as if stones,
The deer's lifeless eyes, stare into the night
I feel such a change in the stars and the sky
I felt something die, in a child's heart tonight
For Trashed #2 Contest: Sponsor: Broken Wings
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2015
Your face and rotting teeth and heavy jowls
and sunken breasts with bulging waist and
Your image of laughter, lovemaking, seeking
bourbon tweaked philosophies
of life begins
The hands that tremble as you tilt
the glass that begins another
Tirade thoughts, empty lies, money spent on
lipstick coated leeches who prey on
Through these wintry days pass faces long past
into what was then
while with the coming spring ...
at last! at last!
One can remember
and want no more
what could never be:
Copyright © Sue Mason | Year Posted 2007
I have many happy dreams of my childhood life,
Mother and father and grandma made it special;
Playing make-believe was something I really loved,
I could do that for hours and hours and hours.
Father made me a table and chairs for tea parties,
I even had a cabinet for dishes donated by mother;
Pretty dishes that I dreamt of having myself one day,
And now I have lovely vintage dishes in my home.
(I like to set the table with mixed-up dishes)
Grandma provided some of her old clothes and jewels,
Now I have a passion for vintage clothing and jewelry;
I adored my dolls and still I have many of them on shelves,
They used to sit on chairs listening to my stories.
Mother said, "that girl sure can tell stories and stories,"
I could ramble on for hours and hours and hours;
And the bud of a writer was blooming in childhood play,
And now I write poems and stories gossamer.
(I write of my childhood dreams and my life)
It soon became clear that I loved animals of all kinds,
Carrying them home for repairs and tender loving care;
Father said, " she will either be a vet or work in a zoo,"
I became an advocate for animal rights and protection.
Always I have loved cats and my first came at Christmas,
Snowball was her name and I dreamt of owning all kinds;
A steady succession of cats have brought me happiness,
My old fat cat reminds me of a childhood stuffed toy.
(My kitten needs to grow into her big ears)
Of couse I dreamt of meeting my prince charming,
And I did, the moment I saw him I knew love;
My heart and soul is his forever and for all eternity,
Our love is like a stream that goes on and on.
I once had a good job with the welfare department,
They sent me to Hudson Bay to help the Inuit;
That work was so rewarding and filled me with pride,
But the child in me had dreamt of much more.
(I loved the beauty of the north not the poverty)
I never dreamt that I would ever become a nurse,
But I am and this job brings me happiness;
Helping the elderly has become my mission in life,
A frail hand in mine brings me tranquility.
So much of the child who was me remains,
That little child dreaming and rambling on and on;
She still exits in my soul and she still dreams,
Even sometimes she plays make-believe.
(That girl dreaming , she now dreams poems)
August 11, 2015
Submitted to the contest, New or Old 5
Sponsor, Eve Roper
Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2015
(Why I'm Still Breathing)
When the cow was dry, she was compliant.
When she calved, she turned vicious
and no fence could hold her,
but she gave milk in abundance,
and Dad refused to sell her.
She chased Mother 'round and 'round the barn
until Mom panicked, climbed the corner logs,
and perched under the roof,
clinging like a cicada shell on a weed-pod.
Beasty pawed and bellowed until Dad came home.
"I could gain on her on the corners,"
Mother said, "because I could turn faster,
but she gained on me on the straightaway."
Plug-ugly tore through the fence,
into the garden, where Mom and I worked.
"Run, Cona Faye, run," my mother shouted.
How did she know? The cow passed Mother
and thundered straight for me. I ran.
At the fence, snorts filled my ears. Hot breath
steamed my back. I saw myself stomped,
pulverized into the dirt. I turned, screaming
at full volume, and flailed my arms
like a windmill in a strong wind.
That old red cow locked her front legs
and skidded like a freight train on full brake.
I seized the moment, and scaled that rail fence.
Copyright © Cona Adams | Year Posted 2014
There's an old upright,
standing tall, against the wall,
no one plays it much anymore
as it sits there in silence, out on the old sun porch
But I can imagine it quite regal in its prime, shiny and new
And age has turned the varnish yellow
The veneer, a bit buckled, and the bench has been repaired
With clamps and screws, and Elmer’s wood glue
A relic from another time, although the
sound has not changed throughout the years
and tears have spilled upon the keys
There's one key that sticks, and three more are chipped...
If only time could skip…backwards to then…
To when my mother and I sat side by side
together,.... playing “The Blue Danube”.
Her hands over mine, pointing out the key of C
And what I do see,... still in my mind….,
are the blue veins of her hands
and hearing the waltz, a bit off key
(It needed tuning…it always did, it never mattered, it never will)
I was small…my fingers couldn’t reach them all,
those pock marked, scarred, and magic keys
But the measure of Johann Strauss would bounce off the walls…
She would hum into my ear…
Her soft brown hair would mix with mine
I could smell Breck shampoo, and feel her breath upon my cheek
And the music, soft and sweet, classic light…from that old Upright...
A simple tune…the waltz of time
that has played on and on... long beyond her life
and will play on long beyond my own…
Recited on youtube..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Huza5He36b0
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2011
I used to look at your wrinkly hands
And see the veins follow routes like a map
Your fingers shook like a spayed chihuahua on the piano keys
Demonstrating the chord in which I was supposed to play after you
I was thinking instead about the stool we were sharing
How old and fragile the wooden piece was
The green-blue floral padding faded and worn
The chipped, wobbly legs
That creaky sound when you repositioned...
And I was praying it wouldn't collapse under our bodies
Your voice was gentle and calm
Softly pushing me back to my practice
and my fingers played that bright G Chord
“Very good,” You praised with a smile
Your voice so small and lightly faded
But still loving and pleasant
You explained to me arpeggios and broken chords
And I was glad it was you explaining it
I remember yelling at my dad
And throwing a big tantrum over playing “Allouette”
His straight harsh voice cut my fingers off the keys
As he ordered me to pay attention
Watching his hairy fingers demonstrate the left hand
And then the right
Pressing loudly and ramming the song into my every being
And I remembered
I was never concerned about making him angry
I would laugh if he made a mistake in teaching
Or if he stumbled on his words - which was frustratingly rare
I would scream if he corrected me
And yet I was determined for his praise
That he never gave
Your son loved music like you
And he wanted me to love it just like him
In an annoyed kind of way, I obliged
But I would make him suffer for forcing it on me
Even if I couldn't deny it was something I would always love
We never have our piano lessons anymore, Grandma
But I will never forget how you taught me
That stool remains in the room
It hasn't been sat on for days
And it took far more than mere days
To receive from your son…true praise
But that’s okay
I will pray it collapses under his body
Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2014
I read Darryl Ashton’s poem Called Pinocchio Rex and this brought back
memories of a childhood incident
When I grew up we had a smallholding – the house was called ‘Longacre’ as we
had over an acre of land. Over the years we had chickens, pigs named Pinky
and Porky and a goat called Susie… she had kids called Billy and Nanny – guess
I was no good at names back then… but I digress
Attached to the house was a small village shop but my parents also made a
small income from selling fresh eggs and in the summer home grown
strawberries – I would help pick washing baskets of them and bag them up to
Every week a little old man would arrive for his dozen eggs and if the shop was
shut he would ring the doorbell. He wore a pointed felt hat, had steely blue
eyes and the most enormous nose you have ever seen. Unbeknownst to him
my parents nicknamed him 'Pinocchio'.
When I was aged about 7 years old the doorbell rang – mum was busy baking
in the kitchen so I answered it. There in front of me stood this old man wanting
his eggs. Mum shouted from the kitchen
‘Who is it Janet?’
I replied ‘Oh its only Pinocchio’
At once mum appeared from the kitchen, her face was the colour of beetroot.
She apologised for the comment from her ‘cheeky daughter’ The man
purchased his eggs and walked away – never to return!
The moral of this true tale is that parents ALWAYS tell the truth and that
children have ears the size of an elephant and a mouth just as big … so if you
don’t want them to repeat something YOU have said keep it zipped!
11th August 2014
Copyright © JAN ALLISON | Year Posted 2014
Morning sounds wake sleepy heads in beds.
A thud against the wall...daddy's home, drunk!
Mommy must have given him that mommy look!
Sis and I rush to help mommy off the floor as
daddy flops across the bed with his shoes on
smelling of stale beer and cigarette's stench.
Mommy is too dizzy to finish fixing our sandwiches
of baloney for our brown bag lunch. With one punch
he laid her flat again. When will his cruelty end?
Tomorrow is Parent Teacher conferences but
they both won't show up... again. They never do.
Mean taunts from ugly kids at school, we don't listen.
We watch the clock on the classroom wall that ends
with a clattering of noisy chatter and beat up books being
joyously slammed closed then shoved into back packs
as the bell loudly rings announcing the school days end.
We walk slowly home together with dulled anticipation
to the empty sounds of no one home to greet us.
The television's voice is a welcoming distraction that
elevates our spirits with happy kids in family shows.
The best thing about T.V. dinners is no dishes to wash.
Mommy comes home from work at the diner after dark
still sporting dark sunglasses to hide daddy's shiner.
The last sounds of the day comes from mommy's singing us
old songs she remembers from her youthful years at home.
Connie Marcum Wong
Poem of the Day June 21, 2016
Copyright © Connie Marcum Wong | Year Posted 2016
It started growing in a field
Billy Stover watched it grow
Because the corn was tall
Because Billy Stover was small
No one knew
Now one saw
No one saw how the tiny boy watched by the hour in summer's heat
Even from the top of high elm trees by the road
who could have detected that small lad stretched out
on his stomach leaning on his elbows watching
On stormy days Billy watched from the closest window
elbows propped up on the sill
He knew it was growing though he couldn't see it
He'd be down in the field now in the mud watching
but his mother forbade it
"What do you do out there Billy all by yourself?
What is it you do out there instead of playing?"
On certain days when the wind swayed the green stalks
and nipped Billy's cheeks his eyes would light up
He fought back a burning desire to run into the white kitchen
to tug at his mother's apron to bring her out
and show her his one spot
He jumped up once when the flames leaped high
started running for the house
"Mother! Mother!" he silently shouted
Every part of his small body shook with joy but
The bleak white walls of the kitchen
his mother her hands dipped in bread dough....................................
It started growing in the field in the dirt in the mind of Billy Stover
And no one could have kept a secret better than Billy
Copyright © daver austin | Year Posted 2008
Every year our vacation was always the same. Two
weeks of fishing, playing, eating and being together
on the river. We had no electricity, no TV, and we
all loved it. The four cousins had time to get to know
each other and to just be kids. In the woods, on the river,
building forts and damns, catching frogs, campfires,
and , of course, fishing.
One day, when everyone else had given up and the kids
were playing on the bank, I hooked on to a BIG one.
I started to scream and shout...they all gathered round
to urge me on, give me advise and to share my
glorious moment. My tackle was not rigged for
salmon, but we could soon tell that's what I had.
For at least 15 minutes I was a star, playing that
fish, back and forth, until he was close to the
bank and we could see that he was a monster..
a big reddish salmon.
My niece, who was about 10, jumped into the
water to help me land him, and then, disaster struck.
He spit the hook, flashed his tail, and off he swam.
We all stood there in stunned silence..not knowing
whether to laugh of cry. I did a bit of each.
The story has become the stuff of legends, the story of
Aunti/Mom and the "one that got away"..really, its
more the story of the bond of family and times that
were so precious.
For the One That Got Away contest...
Copyright © Barbara Gorelick | Year Posted 2011
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eye'd,
Such seems your beauty still.
~ William Shakespeare
I have looked into the mirror
Looking for a trace....a trace of my youth
A trace of the girl that I used to be...
Is she there? Buried deep? Is she still part of me?
Years can't be halted, change can't erase..
And there...in my face, are the lines of experience
Stories and time...I see staring back at me
A part of me wants to grieve for that girl
The girl that I was.. Has she vanished for good?
Oh, I do understand....
That I can't hang on to "then"..
To days long ago, when time was our friend
When summers, together, seemed never to end
But, then............ , here by chance, we meet up once again.....
Our friendship born in childhood..so young, and carefree
You...with bright eyes, and brown hair that fell long
Around your high cheeks ...and a wide, gamin smile!
You were the one who's light shined so brightly
Who's charm, laugh, and wisdom I fondly admired
A girlhood where we danced together in sweet grass under sunny skies
And under nighttime stadium lights, to the music of the high school band
After years, that have taken us to separate worlds
In my mind, and in my dreams you have always been
The fair maiden, the one who held my hand
Two girls who made promises...who sat in the dark, under a summer sky
And talked of our "somedays", of our future, our hopes
By the light of the moon, we wished upon the stars
Now here in this moment, I have found you again
And here in this moment, I have found "me" again....
I can be that girl again....as we share our history
our moment in the sun, ....I am "her", again!..
I can be that child, I can be fifteen, I can wear a crown, upon a teenaged throne...
And I can still dance to the sound of the drum, and the tuba,
I can sing football songs, and gossip about the boys,
and make fun of the stuck-up girls
and laugh about the teachers we didn't like,
and about the night of the prom, when I cried in your arms
I can hear Johnny Mathis singing "Misty", and the words will make me weep
I can hear "Canadian Sunset" as it lulls me off to sleep
Perhaps the stars have faded a bit...but beyond the weary miles
They still shine when I look into your eyes...my dear friend, from the past...
They will shine through the ages.........where a summer will always last....
For Frank's Contest:
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2010
Polly got words
He was five and going to start school.
His name was Paul, but everyone called him Polly.
He had only one interest and that was anything with wheels.
His mom knew that other kids his age new their letters and the alphabet.
Polly got bored fast when it came to learning the letters and had no interest in them at all.
He would play for hours with his hot wheels cars, clutched in his hands when he fell asleep.
His mom fretted over this, for after summer, he was to start kindergarten.
She had an idea of how he could learn his letters using cars.
She bought twenty six shiny, new hot wheels cars.
The roof each car she wrote a letter.
It was simple.
She said, this is the A car
When it starts it goes AAaaaaah
And this is the D car
When it starts it goes Dididididi
And this is the R car
When it starts it goes RrrrrRrrrrrr
He learned to recognize the letters and their sounds.
Creative parenting had succeeded wonderfully, and
Polly got words
Sept 21, 2016
Copyright © Tanis Troutman | Year Posted 2016
As I gaze out the upstairs window, it feels like yesterday
It is early, and a burst of sun gleams through the branches of the Cottonwood tree
It's not there anymore....
that string of washing that used to wave on the clothesline,
looking like colorful flags flapping in the wind....
and I wonder...who does that anymore...hangs their wash?
Doves are still strutting on the cobbled path, cooing their song....
or perhaps complaining about the chill of the October morn...
I look about the room,...
Right there, that's where marguerite daisies sat in a jug on the dressing table
next to a framed photo of five, smiling young cousins...
Scrubbed and shining faces, dressed for church one Easter morning, long ago
The faded chintz curtains, and the cover on the four poster is a pale primrose yellow
And the wallpaper is striped in blue and white....
It all looks a bit more worn, but still rather pretty
The bedroom is small,....a bit cramped, and a bit shabby, but comfortably familiar
Over on the north wall hangs a painting of Willowby Pond...
so pleasant to look at, just before falling to sleep...
Mother would tuck into each dresser drawer, a bar of soap....to scent the clothes
I recognize the fragrance of English Lavender, still lingering in the air...
even though she has been gone these many years...
Here I stand again, having things so familiar, ...so much the same...yet changed..
I take a deep breath, recalling the sense of home, the fragrance of lavender
and the sound of the doves...
Like slipping into an old pair of slippers
after spending the day wearing high heeled shoes....
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2010
The water tower stands above the town and can be seen for miles around. It has a
ladder leading up to the base of the tank. This ladder has been climbed by countless
teenagers, for thrills and mischief and young kids answering a dare.
Over the years, many symbols and words have been painted on the tank. From
Highschool mascots, to hearts of love and proposals. Flowers and Holiday wishes
It had always been one mans job to keep the water tank painted and to cover up
any impromptu artwork. He always took his time about it though. Making sure that
each message stayed up at least two weeks before he would paint over it.
One day he received a phone call. On the line was a little boy. This little boy asked
the man to please not paint over his message he had written on the tank, as it was
The man explained to the boy that it was his job to keep the tank painted and
clean. But, that he would leave his message up there, untouched, for two weeks. The
little boy, with tears in his voice said "Thank you, I hope it will be long enough".
The next day, as the man was driving past the water tank, he looked up. He saw no
message or pictures of any kind on that tank. He shrugged and assumed that the boy
had just been to scared to make the climb all the way to the top.
Three weeks later, the mans phone rings again. It was that same little boy. Very
excited, he proclaimed "Mister, I just wanted to thank you for not painting over my
message...It really worked!"
Intrigued, the man went to the tank with his paint and supplies. He climbed to the
top, set down his paint and brush. He walked around that tank several times and still
did not see a message. But, as he bent to pick up the paint can, there it was.
Towards the bottom of the tank, in crayon with a young child scroll was written:
"Dear God, pleeze let my daddy come home frum war I miss him
Your frend Mike"
The years passed. Many drawings and words were painted over by one man and then
the other, as they took the job over. But never, the one small patch, with that heart
For the contest: Story Time
Hostess: Carol Brown
Copyright © Paula Swanson | Year Posted 2010
Before spring came, in late February
to the blooming and jolly hills
I ran, breathing heavily and frantically,
touching the perfumed blossoms
of a solitary, old cherry tree;
and underneath it I sat writing poetry
that hadn't a perfect rhyme and beat!
Weren't my skills marred by imperfections?
Canaries and red-breasted robins
flew down and rested on my outstretched legs;
perusing my lines to spot their names,
and when they did, they flapped their wings in gladness!
I could have imagined their joyful words,.
if only they had acquired the gift of speech,
and deeper in their thoughts I would have reached:
to dispel the myth that they had no feelings...
After my short poem was completed,
I reached for my harmonica to play my favorite classic tune;
and being surprised by the paleness of the fading moon,
I dedicated that happy melody to her not to let her despair:
by waving my hand to make her farewell less sad, while I whispered,
" Silent moon, eternal companion of every poet,
what's beyond the realm of this universe?...
Tell us more of those invisible suns and planets! "
Before spring came to the dormant valley,
the mountains' peaks allowed the sun to melt their snows,
to create gushing torrents to feed its water to the dry and cracked soil,
which needed rain instead of harmful frost;
and I drank the freshest water and washed my sweaty face,
while fighting off the bees' stubborn rivalry!
That spring has come again to dress herself with incredible splendor,
and this discontent and wishful heart desires nothing more than being there!
My theme is: Happiness In Childhood
Copyright © Andrew Crisci | Year Posted 2009
Gritty angry surface
The diving board;
Encountered by his anxious shin
One more childhood innocence lost
Heady summer swimming
Expeditions to the bottom;
Pressure building and breath burning
Too quick to mount the board
His youthful haste subdued
Tears and chlorine
Shriveled swollen skin bleeding
No longer to be comforted by a kiss
Just old enough to be proud
Young enough to be hurt
Sitting at the edge
Stifling his pain
Copyright © Kelly McDonald | Year Posted 2006