. . . We are born and immediately we communicate. All throughout time people continue to think of new ways to do this. Most people learn to speak sounds that their parents use, and then learn to write characters that have been made to represent the sounds. ways of touching creating thought making a connection At some point we made poetry… I notice that small children love story that has rhythm. Some of the earliest poetry is believed to have been orally recited or sung. You probably wonder why i’m bothering to write about being born and living and communication and poetry. Well, it’s just this. I am going to tell you a story. This story was told to me by my sister. Now, my sister is sixty-one years old. And, no, she does not write poetry. See, her husband left her, and her three sons married and moved away, and my parents, who lived near-by, on the same land, died within two months of each other. All this happing in a fairly short amount of time. My sister was in her fifties at the time. She still lives on the farm, which is in a very rural area of Wyoming. She found employment in three places. One job is cleaning offices two times a week in a town to the north. And two other jobs; one job is overnight care for those that reside at a 24-bed care center for the elderly, and the other job is an assistant cook position at a head start center, both of these jobs are in a town to the east of the farm. That is part of her story. Which brings us to another story. There is a woman that lives in the care center who was born in November of 1920. That makes her 91 years old. And she has recently taken to writing poetry for the first time in her life. Her name is Helen. Recently a fire alarm went off in the middle of the night at the care center. Meaning that my sister had to get everyone up and out of the building. It wasn’t a fire drill, but, she also could not see any evidence of fire. But she did what she was supposed to do, and got them all out. As she went to get Helen, she found that Helen was actually in her bathroom. My sister, in the process of getting Helen up and out, told Helen that this experience would be good for a poem. And so, for my sister, Helen wrote one…and here it is. . . . A Fire Drill . . . A fire alarm I didn’t hear As I was sitting on the pot A staff member rushed in And ordered me to stop. A difficult thing to do My job I hadn’t finished. I wish I had been through My discomfort would have been diminished. Caught with my pants down Oh, what a trial I could only frown As she turned away to smile. Luckily i wasn’t in the shower Completely in the nude That would have become A very strange interlude! She hurried me along Quickly I was outside With a deep breath I took My embarrassment I did hide. The fire drill was a success Practices we must heed In case of a fire Prepared we will be! . . . .
My kids are teens, and they still say it’s not poetry if it doesn’t rhyme. That’s why they don’t like my stuff! But they would get a kick out of Helen’s.
My mother didn’t write poetry but she could still recite it at the age of 90.
Nice thoughts on poetry, and nice story. Yes, rhythm is indeed an important part of good poetry. Thanks for reminding me of that. Hope your sister is well these days.
Oh, ugh. Did you get my comment? Because it made me log in and now I can’t see it. Anyway, said: I’m so glad I came by for the backstory. Priceless.
I am so glad I came by for the background. Priceless.
I’ve got a big smile on my face. I encourage my students not to get caught up in trying to rhyme, because often it comes out contrived, and originality and depth are sacrificed. But Helen did a terrific job of telling a funny story and still rhyming. Wonderful choice of words–an intelligent and funny lady. It’s cool that your sis is encouraging her.:>)
This is such a great story Nance. It gives me great hope. Your sister is wonderful.
Oh, how this made me smile…
Great story and the poem is the icing on the cake. LOL Thanks for giving me a smile today and give your sister a hug for me!
Ah! Great story! Prepared, indeed.
Thank you for sending me this humerous poem. It is rather lovely as well – Peotry is in us even if we begin to write at age 90
This story and poem made me both laugh and cry… wonderful!
Oh my land! I love it. The poem is awesome on it’s own, but coupled with the backdraft, it’s even better!
Helen is an inspiration. In more ways than one. So is your sis.