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Grade Three

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I am from letters and phonemes and rhymes.
I am from sentences who are still learning
to begin with a capital and end with a full stop.
I am from numbers that fly through the air
performing magic tricks —
multiplying, dividing, sharing.
I am from skinned knees and broken hearts.
I am from snotty noses and big-lipped pouts,
reassuring hugs and stars on the forehead.
I am from Miss Molly Mack, Shumpu and Open Gate.
I am from the place where
“I lost my homework.”
really means
“I climbed a tree instead of doing my sums.”
I am from an enchanted land
called Childhood.

 

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This is for Toads.  “Where do I come from?”
Where are you from?  🙂

Childhood

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We live in a culdy-sack
and pledge a lee gents to the flag.
We look for Don’s early lights
and scuff our saddle shoes
as we kick stones down the Cora door.

Sunday sees us dressed to the nines,
scallywags in thick wrinkle-proof Crimplene,
guttersnipes in skirts supported by stiff crinolines.

For an hour or two we play the part —
ecclesiastical, God-fearin’ folk,
promisin’ to sin no more.
We wear a dour countenance,
fold our hands in itchy laps,
tolerate toes trapped in patent leather.

Then home!
to the freedom of bare feet,
and sunshine on exposed limbs.
Whoopin’ and hollerin’
and forgettin’ our pledges of holiness,
we raise hell.

 

 

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NaPoWriMo — Day Eighteen: Write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore.  Coax your ear and your voice backwards, and write a poem that speaks the language of home, and not the language of adulthood, office, or work.

Mine was an interesting childhood.  One set of grandparents were immigrants (from Scotland and Denmark). And the other half were pilgrim people and deep Southern folk.  Mom was a Baptist.  Dad was a heathen.  And we lived in the heart of California, in a community that was rich in cultural diversity.
The first stanza is what I thought the words I used repeatedly when I started school looked like. 

This was a wonderful stroll down memory lane.