Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sometimes You Have To Cut Your Losses

As writers, we often work on a story, essay, poem or other piece of genius that we are certain meets, if not far exceeds, the criteria for publication somewhere, anywhere. In fact, we may be so convinced of our work's merit that we withhold it from public view on the Internet (ergo remain "unpublished") on the off chance that it might get picked up for publication by someone, anyone. Well, sometimes I suppose it's best to just get over it.

So, in the spirit of sharing, here is a bit of an action poem written in rhyme, celebrating picture day at school. I still think it would make a great little picture book. I mean, who can't relate to picture day?

But I'm willing to concede the likelihood of publcation as a picture book is slim. Granted, it was published in a children's magazine back in 2007. But still I'd like to imagine it in between two scuffed up hard covers with dog-eared pages because kids have read it and chuckled, chortled, guffawed and roared over and over.

One can dream, can't one?

By Bill Kirk
(Published in Fun For Kidz Magazine, September 2007)

This morning when my Grandma knocked,
I didn’t make a peep.
She’d never find me underneath
These covers in a heap.

Then, in she came to chase me out
And get me on my way.
“Let’s rise and shine, grandson of mine!
Today is picture day.”

She gently stressed as I got dressed,
“No horseplay is allowed.
There’ll be no kicking rocks and cans,
Or dust into a cloud.”

“But, Grandma…,” “Don’t ‘But Grandma’ me,”
She said with my four names.
That meant that she was serious.
There’d be no silly games.

So, I got dressed and brushed my hair
And even washed my face.
The boys would hardly know it’s me—
With every hair in place.

Then, off I went with good intent,
To stay both neat and pressed.
So, when I finally got to school,
I’d look my very best.

At recess all the kids went out
To run and chase and hide.
But Grandma’s words came back to me.
And so I stayed inside.

When it was time to go to lunch,
I ate each bite with care.
I even tucked a napkin in,
To catch each crumb, mid-air.

Then suddenly, as if on cue,
I heard someone yell, “Duck!”
I should have known, my time would come,
And I’d be out of luck.

At first I saw some gelatin,
Go sailing past my head.
And then two hotdogs—flying by—
Just missed my best friend, Fred.

Soon apples turned to applesauce
And plums to purple goo.
When mashed potatoes hit the floor,
They stuck like paste and glue.

I crashed into the Principal
And almost caused two falls.
By then my hopes of staying clean
Were dashed on doors and walls!

When all the food had finally flown,
The lunchroom was a mess!
Our teachers called our Moms and Dads
So we could all confess.

And did I mention evidence?
Oh yes! There’d be a bunch!
The photographs would say it all—
Our turn was after lunch!

But, wait! Was that my Grandma’s voice,
So faint, and far away?
“Get up, my boy, or you’ll be late!
Today is picture day.”

So, did I hear my Grandma right?
Were things not as they seemed?
Hurray! That whole big mess at school,
Was something I had dreamed!

1 comment:

  1. I think this could work as a picture book. Have you tried paginating it to see if it'll fit the 32-page format? A picture book about picture day would be great. I see lots of illustration possibilities already.