Friday, December 07, 2018

Poetry Friday - Poetry Sisters Write List Poems

When I was a cadet at the USCGA, I received demerits for whistling. I was called out by the company commander who told me whistling was for a boatswain's mate, not an officer in training. As someone who hummed, whistled, and sang to the fill the silences, it was a hard loss to swallow. More than 30 years later, I still think of that rebuke when I catch myself whistling. The only difference is that now I smile and keep right on going.

What does all this have to do with poetry? For some reason, that memory popped into my head when I read the words Liz provided as fodder for our list poems. Here is the list.
  • paper
  • stars
  • messages
  • promises
  • dirt
  • flour
  • rum
  • hope
There is nothing remotely related to whistling here, but the words sparked a number of long forgotten memories and made me think of things that make me happy, so I decided to run with that idea for today's poem.

How I Turned That Frown Upside Down
As a child often left to my own devices
mother admonished me not to sulk
Lost to introspection and loneliness
it was easy to succumb to unhappiness

When the doldrums of dark days
left me frowning and sad
joy came from simple pleasures
     hearing the rhythmic thumping of the dog's tail
        poring over the funny pages of the daily paper
     turning cartwheels across the lawn
        whistling to the music streaming from the kitchen
     gazing at the night sky and countless stars
        hanging upside down from the neighbor's cherry tree
     swinging as high as my pumping legs would take me
        walking barefoot in the creek
     biking to the Town Pump to buy penny candy
        sneaking into the pasture to pet the dairy cows
     chasing and catching all manner of little critters

I think back to these moments
when I need a smile or pick-me-up

I still whistle and read the funny pages
Still love a dog and walking barefoot
Just yesterday I stood on my head
I imagine a cartwheel isn't far behind

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2018. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my poetry sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Liz Steinglass. Happy poetry Friday friends!