Chickens and Scruffy and puppies and boys! Yes, my feeble attempts at poetry do indeed reflect our life. So, if I were to enter one of these in a contest … which one should I choose? The Shakespearian sonnet about chickens, the puppy poem, the Thank you poem to Scruff, or the one about praying for bugs? I don’t know, so you tell me!
Praying for Bugs
Sometimes it took 90 minutes to get them bundled up for snow,
All for bright red cheeks and brighter eyes and snowballs in a row.
I’d follow muddy footprints and smears of dirt on every knob,
Then throw them in the tub and consider a new job.
The seven packs of Jell-O mixed with a bottle of slimy soap,
Leaping hugs and snuggles gave me just enough to hope.
Bedtime prayers from earnest lips, “God, give this bug new legs!”
Night terrors left us drinking, the coffee to the dregs.
They’d strip naked and escape into the forest wide.
Blushing, I would find them, though I deeply wished to hide.
But as messes become fewer and the clothes stay in their place,
So have the scribbled notes and the cries to come and race.
Little boys are messy. They love syrup, mud, and goo.
But imagine when you realize, those grubby days are though.
So have a Nerf fight with your sons, instead of washing dishes.
We’d keep them little if we could, if mothers had three wishes.
When boys are dog-less, chickens come to roost
As sorrow lingers, soft hens snuggle close
Content in tree forts, though they need a boost
Their gentle clucks lift hearts that are morose
Wearing sweaters from Grandma and leashes
They visit school, the meadow, and the pond
With each adventure, mourning decreases
Gifts of worms, crickets, and corn seal their bond
Scratching for worms in the rain, they get soaked
Soon hair dryers and towels turn them fluffy
At each peril, fierce concern is evoked
Deeply loved, whether glossy or scruffy
Sometimes love comes with a feathery flap
To nestle close for a sleep in your lap
Bean Bag Monster and Harmless Blanky
Thank you for the “Go ahead, get your coffee first” mornings
And those “Get some sleep, I’ll put in the chickens and find the dog” nights.
For “If you talk to your mother like that again …” warnings,
And how you dry up tears and make them laugh after fights.
Thank you for “Bean Bag Monster” when they were little
And leaping out from behind trees in the path.
For playing “Harmless Blanky” and letting them whittle,
Making them haul wood and cheering them on in math.
Thank you for all those late night video games
And letting them sneak out for a talk.
For never going easy during board games
And the long hours we’ve spent in gridlock.
Thank you for giving me breaks when I’m crazy,
For rolling your eyes when I ask if you’re OK.
For helping them gather up daisies,
Along with the tickle wars and all that rowdy play.
Thank you for kisses and hugs and arguments,
For never leaving when I give you “the look.”
For proofreading innumerable documents
And for knowing when I “need” a new book.
Thank you for seventeen years together,
For letting me learn to cut hair.
For hiking trips in unpredictable weather
And for buying a dog that looks like a bear.
Though I run out of rhymes to express
All that your love means to me,
I’ll recall one more “thank you” if pressed,
Thank you for rushing our sons out to pee.
From Boo Boo
A wet black nose comes snurffling
Beneath the covers warm.
Digging, wagging, nuzzling.
A furry, friendly swarm.
Pouncing on the sleeping boys,
Her sniffing will awaken.
Scratching paws she soon employs.
Get up, cause she smells bacon.
Chase the marauding raven,
Bark at the evil squirrels.
Inside she is a craven,
Though she leaps and bounds and whirls.
She stretches cross her favorite seat,
Her belly to the sky.
She’ll snatch a bagel before meat.
To capture carbs, she’s sly.
Her wagging tail, destruction brings.
Unwatched dishes topple down.
Slobbery drool descends in strings,
Yet she eases every frown.
Her slurping kisses may cause screams.
Laughing children run away.
But her soft snuggling redeems,
Any slobber that’s astray.
A year of praying brought her here,
As all longed for a pup.
Her furry face has become dear,
Just guard your coffee cup.