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1918

For a Child of 1918

My grandfather said to me
as we sat on the wagon seat,
“Be sure to remember to always
speak to everyone you meet.”

We met a stranger on foot.
My grandfather’s whip tapped his hat.
“Good day, sir. Good day. A fine day.”
And I said it and bowed where I sat.

Then we overtook a boy we knew
with his big pet crow on his shoulder.
“Always offer everyone a ride;
don’t forget that when you get older,”

my grandfather said. So Willy
climbed up with us, but the crow
gave a “Caw!” and flew off. I was worried.
How would he know where to go?

But he flew a little way at a time
from fence post to fence post, ahead;
and when Willy whistled he answered.
“A fine bird,” my grandfather said,

“and he’s well brought up. See, he answers
nicely when he’s spoken to.
Man or beast, that’s good manners.
Be sure that you both always do.”

When automobiles went by,
the dust hid the people’s faces,
but we shouted “Good day! Good day!
Fine day!” at the top of our voices.

When we came to Hustler Hill,
he said that the mare was tired, 
so we all got down and walked,
as our good manners required. 

 

2132_bishop_large
Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) at the time of her death was respected as a “writer’s writer” on account of her technical mastery and exemplary patience and dedication to her craft. Since then her reputation has risen steadily until she has become one of the major figures of 20th century American poetry. 

She was born into a comfortable home in Worcester, Massachusetts, her father being a business executive with a successful family-owned construction firm. However, this security disappeared with the death of her father when Bishop was only 8 months old, and the subsequent mental illness of her mother who was permanently institutionalised in 1916. Though her mother lived in an asylum until 1934, Bishop never saw her again. She was brought up by a succession of relatives, firstly by her maternal grandparents in Nova Scotia, under whose care she was largely happy, then by her paternal grandparents back in Worcester and finally by her paternal aunt in whose home Bishop remained for the rest of her education. In 1929 she entered Vassar College where she began writing in earnest and where she met the older and already distinguished poet, Marianne Moore who became the first of several poetic friends and mentors.

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5.0.2

“I hate the thought, but I suppose

That desperado, Rusty Rose,

he scratched his horse’s ear.
He said, “I see you curl your nose
whenever I am near.

it’s got to be this way
So up ahead, I’ll shed these clothes

and take a bath today.”

They came upon a riverbed
beside a ragged tree,
and Rusty said, “Now bow your head
and say a prayer for me.”

He grabbed a crusty bar of soap
and stripped down to the skin.
And then without a shred of hope,
poor Rusty stumbled in.

A bullfrog fled without a trace,
a fish came up for air,
as Rusty washed his hands and face,
his legs and feet and hair.

He dried off with a gunnysack
and hung it in the tree.
He climbed aboard his horse’s back,
his hat upon his knee.

“We’ll leave the soap besi

when we come back next year.de the path,”

said Rusty with a sneer.
“I might just need another bath”

by Eric Ode

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School Kids with Signs

School can be fun, 
School can be boring, 
School bring friends, 
School bring enemies, 
School can bring rules, 
But do you break them.
School brings bullies, 
School brings work, 
School brings cheating, 
School you learn a new thing or two, 
School you try your best, 
School you never give up the test, 
School have teachers you might like or hate, 
School where you meet people new and old.
But education is most important choice of all.
Don’t you agree? 

ZaKyr Davis

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teensxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Having a son to carry on the family name
Was something to be proud of
Bust since he became a teen, nothing has remained the same
He has changed, thinking he knows all
I still love him with all my heart, but not his mouth
He wants to argue and talk back every chance he gets
Since he became a teen his life has gone south
Getting in trouble when the urge hits him
He’s 15, not a little boy, definitely not yet a man
Have asked for advice, have tried several different things
He loves to try me when dad’s not around, because he thinks that he can
Please Lord, hear my plea, I need assistance right away
We clash and we fight
Please Lord, I beg of you to step in and help him see
That the way he treats me just ain’t right
Help him to grow up and to respect
Hold me back from causing him any harm
Give me patience, guidance, and wisdom
To direct him on the right path
And once more hold him in my arms
Let me remember when he was born he brought me great joy
And remind me to praise him when he does do good
For no longer is he my little boy
But a teen who claims he’s so misunderstood

To my one and only son whom I love more deeply then he realizes.

© Antoinette McDonald


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