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
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!

14 thoughts on “story

  1. Megan Willome

    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.

  2. Ted M. Gossard

    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.

  3. ljbmom

    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.

  4. Beth

    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.:>)

  5. Scottk

    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!

  6. Simply Darlene

    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.



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