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Golden Goose

June 3, 2012

Yesterday’s Poetics challenge at the dVerse Poets Pub was to write about work. Despite the list of suggestions kindly offered by Stuart, this one stumped me until I woke this morning thinking in the simplest terms about my job. It evolved into this piece based on my prior evening, which I spent in the company of two little girls who haven’t yet found a passion for reading. I’m hoping to have a hand in changing that.

Golden Goose

We crowd into the small bed
squirming poking squealing
until elbows soften inward
feet shoulders hands align
my head stops banging
the bunk above

The youngest only chooses
so the eldest peels back pages
tongue sliding smoothly over
boy brother tree
tripping across bid hungry smiled
tangled by splendid
unhindered by commas

Eyelids creeping lower
mouth yawning wide
she asks me to take over
listens avidly as I unwind
snarls of sentences
my voice refusing to snag on
tightly scurried behold

It’s my job, I tell them
when asked why I
with no daughters
read so well
Neither believes my passion for
this chore drill bore

But all day, every day
I knead words
roll out sentences
mold paragraphs
sprinkle commas
spread on adjectives

They slip into sleep
tales of readers
whispered in ears
doctors actors preachers
lawyers biologists teachers
people their dreams
perhaps not just
another bedtime story

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2012 5:19 pm

    I like the way you use the “baking and cooking” verbs in your work ~ That is a very lovely job, reminds me of what I do before bedtime for my children when they were children ~


  2. June 4, 2012 5:02 am

    A great take on the prompt. So many VERY good things here!


  3. June 4, 2012 12:41 am

    If you always tell stories this well,
    I’m sure you will instill a love for reading in many. 🙂


  4. June 3, 2012 5:06 pm

    but is reading to kids work? is it a job? i used to love to read, and sing, and make a show out of it.

    Sonnet 24


    • June 3, 2012 9:26 pm

      I would argue that reading to and with kids who are reluctant to read outside of required school lessons IS work. But ultimately I think I was too vague in my intro: I am “working” to help a friend’s kids discover the joys of books and reading (the scene I set in the poem), but the penultimate stanza refers to my profession: editor and writer. Your feedback makes me think I should emphasize that in the poem. So thanks! I’ll definitely keep your comments in mind as I continue to work with this piece.


  5. June 3, 2012 2:40 pm

    that sounds like a wonderful job…you get to open up whole new worlds for kids…reading def changed my life and helped me get through some otherwise hard times…as a way to escape and as a way just to relax and be somewhere else…you know you make a big impact on their lives…


  6. poemsofhateandhope permalink
    June 3, 2012 2:03 pm

    Perhaps the most important job/work in the world…could apply not only to writers, but mothers, teachers- sculptors of language and communication….this was beautifully written, I really enjoyed it. I’m glad you found your take on the prompt and thank you for posting!


  7. June 3, 2012 11:07 am

    nice…always loved reading to my kids…
    esp. liked..
    But all day, every day
    I knead words
    roll out sentences
    mold paragraphs
    sprinkle commas
    spread on adjectives….aaaahhh…nice


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