Thursday, November 19, 2009

Poetry Stretch Results - Childhood Games

The challenge this week was to write a poem about a childhood game or pastime. Here are the results.
Jane Yolen left this poem in the comments.

    I was no Jill at Jacks,
    tumbling gracelessly down a hill.
    Instead I swiped the little iron-legged tokens
    with a quick hand, snagged the ball,
    was on to the next round with hardly a wasted motion.
    Champion of my camp, of my elementary school,
    I privileged jacks over real boys,
    keeping my winning streak going
    until my first kiss the summer I was thirteen.
    The next time I played jacks
    was with my own children
    who could sit on the floor with an ease
    I scarcely remembered.
    The last time was at a conference,
    with two women friends,
    one of whom brought her own jacks and ball
    in a velvet drawstring bag.
    We sat on the hotel floor
    watched over by conference attendees.
    They cheered us equally.
    But two of us lost.
    We lost big.
    Never play pool with anyone
    who owns his own cue stick, Daddy had warned.
    It’s true in jacks as well.

    ©2009 Jane Yolen, all rights reserved
Amy Ludwig Vanderwater left this poem in the comments.
    Ouija Board

    My hands hover over
    hoping for hints.

    Who will I love someday?

    I close my eyes.
    I hold my breath.

    What will the Ouija say?

    my future is told.

    her secrets unfold.

    For me to make true.
    For me to blame.

    Ouija board –


    Or game?

    Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, 2009
Easter of Owl in the Library shares two poems this week.

Carol Weis left two poems in the comments.

    hopping around
    how many times
    can I go-go?

    hopping around
    zillions of times
    on my pogo.



    One potato
    two potato
    three potato four
    rang around our yard
    on chilly
    autumn days
    in our northern
    Jersey neighborhood.

    Fists held tight
    we’d huddle in a circle
    ready-or-not to play
    the next round of
    hide and seek
    all wondering
    who would
    be IT.

    Tapping fist to
    chin and other
    eager fists
    it turned out
    the potato
    for sure.
Janet of Across the Page shares a poem entitled Boggle Dreams.

Harriet of spynotes left this poem in the comments.

    Skit skat
    One foot, four;
    Jump rope,
    Turn twice,
    Holler for more!

    Double Dutch,
    Never such,
    Ever such rhyme;
    One foot,
    Two foot,
    Four feet time.

    Hold hands,
    Back to back,
    Shake it sweet;
    Whip round,
    Skip down,
    Don’t miss a beat!

    The rope goes round --
    Faster, that
    Whirring sound

    Touch down
    Turn around
    Back against the wall
    Oh, no!
    Caught a toe
    Trip then fall

    Jump rope stall.

    Get up
    Dust off
    That’s how you learn
    Once more
    Jump back
    One more turn

    Turn once
    Turn twice
    Count each leap
    Skip day
    Skip night
    Skip in your sleep

    Skit skat
    One foot, three
    Inside a
    Jump rope’s
    The place for me.
Jone of Deo Writer shares a rictameter about hopscotch.
I wrote several poems, one about playing in the dirt and mud, another about climbing trees, and this one.
That old rope wore my hands bare
but I couldn’t stay away

It traveled high over the corn field
and came back to the edge of the road

Swinging was as good as flying

As I got older, I swung upside down
rope twined around my legs—over, under, between

Swinging was my dare
my truth was freedom in the air
It's not too late if you still want to play. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll add it to the list.


  1. Here is my game: hopscotch. Found here:
    Used the ricameter again.

  2. Thanks for these memories. I loved jacks too. I don't know if it fits the theme this week, but I'm talking about Santa