Possibilities

Some things are just impossible

and make me want to cry

because I cannot do those things

no matter how I try.

For example, yesterday,

my arms I flapped and flapped

but could not lift up from the ground

like birds — so I felt trapped!

Then I thought I’d dig a den

and live just like a bear,

but Mom said, “Nope! Forget it!”

which I didn’t think was fair.

I told my mom that I was sad

bout things I couldn’t do,

and then she smiled and softly said,

“I’ve just the thing for you.”

She left the room and soon returned,

then handed me a list

of lots of possibilities

I wanted to resist.

I did not want to dust my room

nor brush our lazy cat.

I did not want to have a bath

nor phone my aunt to chat.

I did not want to help Mom weed

or even pick the peas.

I did not want to bath the dog

nor search for my lost keys.

What I have learned is don’t complain!

Relax and just stay calm,

cause you won’t like what’s possible,

according to your mom.

The Day After Groundhog’s Day

It’s February third today,

and in my den I plan to stay.

I’m scared to venture out my door!

My poor, old nerves can stand no more!

On the second, yesterday,

I thought I’d go outside and play,

so from my den I happily walked —

the scene before me left me shocked!

Fifty cameras, maybe more,

flashed as I walked out my door.

“He sees his shadow!” were the cries!

I just saw spots before my eyes.

Now spots are gone, the people too!

T’was awful what they put me through!

The folks round here are dumb as rocks,

cause I’m no groundhog — I’m a fox!

This poem was originally posted February 2021, and I have a feeling you’ll see it a year from now!

Class Discussions

Teacher made us read a book

that I thought was a bore,

so reading every single page

was nothing but a chore.

The characters were really dumb.

In fact, there were three bears,

and a girl named Goldilocks

who sat in all their chairs.

She ate some of their porridge

and slept in Baby’s bed,

and when the bears discovered her,

I thought that she’d be dead.

But no — that girl escaped those bears

which made no sense to me,

cause how could one blonde little girl

outrun the bears — all three?

Lots of kids agreed with me

and said it couldn’t be done.

In fact, our class discussion

was really lots of fun.

Our teacher kept on asking us

to back up what we thought.

She said, “Give me your logic”,

and logic’s what she got.

We said that Goldilocks, in truth,

was sure a little brat.

Teacher said, “Then back it up.

Explain why you think that.”

And as we talked and gave our proof

for judgements that was had,

our teacher smiled and nodded

and just looked really glad.

I’d thought she’d be insulted

cause I didn’t like her book,

but that, for sure, was not the case,

judging by her look.

So now I love to read her books

and think of what I’ll say,

cause talking bout those books we read

almost feels like play.

Poor Sammy

My turtle died just yesterday,

which really made me cry.

I could not understand why God

would make my turtle die.

My mom told me poor Sammy

would be happier in Heaven,

and so we held a funeral

around the hour of seven.

Three kids arrived with flowers

and that sure did make me glad.

It all was so exciting

that I wasn’t quite so sad.

We placed Sam in a jewelry box,

surrounded by some cotton.

We sang a hymn and said that Sam

would never be forgotten.

We dug a hole six inches deep

and put the box inside,

replaced the dirt, and sang again,

then everybody cried.

Now today my folks are trying

to really cheer me up.

The time is right, I do believe,

to ask them for a pup.

This was first published in 2001, in my children’s poetry book, The New Toe: Poems To Tickle Your Funnybone

My Meal

I wish that I could shop for food —

that really would be grand,

because I’d simply pass right by

the food that I can’t stand.

Carrots, broccoli, turnips, beets

would not come through our door,

and neither would those Brussel sprouts

I really do abhor!

White fish, blue fish, yucky cod,

again I’d never chew,

nor would I have to eat a meal

of smelly old beef stew.

Celery I’d never eat,

no, it would not be seen.

In fact, no food I’d ever buy

would be the colour green.

Instead my meals would be superb!

I’d serve the best food yet —

instead of salad — chocolate bars!

My meals you’d not forget.

Popsicles instead of milk,

potato chips galore!

Of course, ice cream would heap the plate,

and you could ask for more.

You bet I would serve soda pop

in the biggest cup,

and after this delicious meal,

Mom says we’d all throw up!

Worries

My mom says I’m a worry wart.

I worry through the days.

I worry bout the strangest things —

my mom says it’s a phase.

I worry that the dog next door

won’t like me anymore.

I worry that my hockey team

won’t ever make a score.

I worry that the frosted flakes

next morning won’t appear.

I worry that the picture on our TV

won’t be clear.

I worry that the snow won’t fall

or that the moon won’t glow.

I worry that the ice won’t melt

or that the trees won’t grow.

The item on my list of worries

at the very top,

is that my stupid worrying

is something I won’t stop!

My New Year’s Resolutions

My New Year’s Resolutions,

are right here on this list,

and judging by the number,

there’s nothing that I’ve missed.

I’ve said I’ll walk the dog each day

and pick up all his poo.

I’ve vowed I’ll get my homework done

and even study too.

I’ve promised I’ll no longer tease

my little brother, Jake.

I’ve stated I will shovel snow

and grass and leaves, I’ll rake.

I’ve said I’ll make my bed each day

and keep my bedroom neat,

and with that final promise,

my list is sure complete.

So now I sit and watch the clock;

my New Year’s list is done,

but acting like “an angel” means

that next year won’t be fun.

This was first posted December 31, 2020.

Other Things #27 – The Christmas Tree That Changed My life

One December night, when my son was just over a year old, I went to Woodwards at the Chinook Centre in Calgary to buy an artificial Christmas tree that was on sale. I had decided that it would be a good idea to raise Jeffrey with an artificial tree as it would be much easier than dealing with a live tree each year. I bought the tree, and pushed a shopping cart with the cumbersome box out to my car in the parking lot.

Once at my car, my struggle began. I had a four-door sedan, and I was determined to get the tree into the car. The box that the tree came in had different plans, and the fight was on. Unbeknownst to me, a woman was pushing a cart out to her vehicle, and she was watching as I wrestled with the box. She could tell there was no way the box was going to fit, and on her way over to tell me, she realized who I was.

Laurie had been a friend since the time I was 11 or 12, although she was actually considered my older sister’s friend. She had gotten married and begun a family years before I did, and she had moved to a different part of the city. Because of the distance, and the fact that our lives were then so different, she and I had drifted apart, and we seldom saw each other. Years before, my entire family had always enjoyed seeing Laurie, and my father, who was a wonderful judge of character once said, with great approval in his voice, “That Laurie’s somebody else again.”

That night in the dark parking lot, it just so happened that Laurie was driving a station wagon, and we loaded the tree into it. She then followed me back to the house I was living in at the time, and we realized that we were now located about seven minutes apart. We sat and had tea that night and made plans to see each other again.

From that point on, Laurie and I got together regularly, and the next year, she was seeing me through one of the darkest chapters in my life because my marriage was falling apart. Through the years of single-motherhood, I was able to look forward to Friday nights because Laurie, her kids, Jeffrey, and I would go to McDonald’s together. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were at Laurie’s, and my mother was there with us as my father had died the year before Jeff was born.

Five years after my marriage ended, Laurie introduced me to Nathan, the man she thought I really needed to meet, and then about two and a half years later, we were married in her family’s living room.

When my mother moved to a seniors’ lodge, Laurie helped me deal with packing up my parents’ home, and 25 years ago, when Nathan and I moved into the house we still live in — which is only three blocks from Laurie’s — she and her family put in hours and hours helping with the packing, unpacking, and wall-washing.

A few nights ago, we were at Laurie’s for Christmas dinner and had a wonderful time and fantastic meal. When we aren’t there, then dinner is at our house, and the two families have spent close to 30 Christmas dinners together.

Laurie has been my support through every major and minor crisis in my life since we loaded the Christmas tree into her station wagon that night. Nathan calls her his ”Guardian Angel”, and many times through the years, he too has sought her advice because she understands people and is full of common sense, wisdom, and kindness.

There is no question that life would be much different for Nathan, Jeffrey, and me had a Christmas tree inside a box fit into a four-door sedan.

The Christmas Pig

A mean old woman bought a pig

cause pork she liked to eat.

She planned to fatten up the hog

and named the poor pig “Pete”.

Now Pete was not a stupid beast —

he knew what she had planned,

and starring on a menu was

just more than he could stand!

Pete’s pen was right beside her house;

its drainpipe stretched right down,

and each night Pete would dream about

pork baked a golden brown.

Since Christmas Eve was coming soon,

a great escape Pete planned.

He’d climb the drainpipe to the roof

where Santa then would land.

Finally, Christmas Eve arrived;

Pete shimmied to his fate.

He hid behind the chimney praying

Santa wouldn’t be late.

At last, the poor pig heard the sound

of sleigh bells in the sky.

He spotted Rudoph’s shining nose

and watched the reindeer fly.

They landed right beside the pig

who grunted with delight

and greeted Santa with a hug,

then told him of his plight.

Soon Pete clung on to Dancer’s back

and flew through clouds so murky.

All the while, he thanked the stars

that he was not a turkey.

This was first posted in December 2020.

Regrets

Last night I just couldn’t get to sleep.

I tossed and turned all night,

cause Santa Claus is coming soon,

which fills me with great fright.

You see, I’ve done some things this year

that now — I sure regret,

and thinking of those things I’ve done

is making me now fret.

I think I’ll write to Santa Claus

and tell him I feel sad

about the rotten things I’ve done

which I know now were bad.

I shouldn’t have said that certain word!

I shouldn’t have tripped those kids!

I shouldn’t have wrecked Mom’s dinner

loos’ning salt and pepper lids.

I shouldn’t have hidden in the shed

to scare my dad and mom,

and putting worms in Ashley’s shoes

was nothing short of dumb.

I shouldn’t have brought my frog to church!

I shouldn’t have set him free!

I shouldn’t have laughed when Freddy

hopped upon that lady’s knee!

I’ll tell St. Nick I’m changing.

I’ll do things folks will like.

I’ll tell him it’s a promise IF —

he’ll just bring me that bike!

This poem was first posted in April 2020.