Oldie #7: Twirling Queen

Some folks were made to twirl a baton. I was not one of those people; although, I can still do the figure eight with style and grace. Or at least with style. Okay. No style either.


In One Basket

Always the finder of the fewest eggs,
A dubious prize at best.

Like being crowned Miss Congeniality
In a field of wild weeds.

I never declined the questionable honor,
But smiled winningly enough

To hoodwink the shepherding adults into
believing I was honored,

When all I ever really wanted was to have the fullest basket

Just one Easter.


Marbles In

I picked up a
handful of marbles,
perfectly round,
smooth, cool, 
clinkety clunky in
my wrinkled grasp.

Brightly colored,
variegated blues,
yellows, reds, plus
an amber cat’s eye,
a shiny steelie,
and a swirly snaky.

There was nothing
notable about these
colorful orbs.
Other than they
exist simultaneously
in the worlds of my
present and my past
as only childhood
playthings can.

Peace, people!

To Myself at 18

What’s the rush?
Why the urgency?
Just a few years
Ago you were 12,
Riding a bicycle
Pigtails flying
Elbows scraped.

Take a moment to
Be a young woman
Out exploring in
This world alone.
Don’t be hurried
To plunge headlong
Into domesticity.

Your choices won’t
Be easy, my friend
Perhaps they aren’t
Meant to be clear,
But you’ll make it.
You’re strong and
weird and wonderful.

Yesterday I caught myself thinking about my grandchildren and how quickly they’re growing. The oldest two are on the verge of becoming teenagers. I became a little weak in the knees thinking that when I was that age, unbeknownst to me, I was a mere six years away from settling into marriage with Studly.

Six years was the distance between goofy slumber parties with my friends and keeping house for a husband.

My choices weren’t
Clear back then,
Perhaps they never
Were meant to be.
I do love my life,
Even while I wonder
What might’ve been.



sixes and sevens charged headlong,
vying for first place in an
imaginary race to the monkey bars,
and the seesaws, and the slide.

Texas panhandle playground, dirt-covered
unkind to bared legs on cold, windy days
while archaic dress codes demanded
dresses be worn by little girls.

disregarding weather, firm, yet kind
educators shepherded their charges into
stinging maelstroms of gravelly sand.
it was for teachers’ sanity no doubt.

some days impromptu games of
following a self-appointed leader
consumed recess time, effectively
socially sorting first graders at play.

teeth were sometimes lost as children
clamored for a spot on the merry-go-round;
noggins often took bumps and lumps
slipping through monkey bars.

tears weren’t uncommon; neither was blood.
rules were simple: don’t push,
no tattling, leave the teachers alone.
tough, necessary playground lessons.

I lost one of my first baby teeth on a merry-go-round just like this.


It never occurred to us that monkey bars might be dangerous!
Teeter totters a.k.a. seesaws had all sorts of pinch points and other fun dangerous accoutrement. note: there are more trees in this photo than in my entire town .


The Joy of Ice Cream

on hot summer days
the ice cream truck beckons youth
canned music piping
to heat-parched children
scampering through neighborhoods
clamoring for treats.
hey mister stop here!
mommy it’s the ice cream man!
may i have a dime?
please? i’ll fold towels.
we’ll mow the lawn tomorrow!
promises offered
some were even kept.