As many of you know, my 91-year old mother lives with us. She’s frequently sharing with me some treasure she has saved. A few years ago it was a poem I had written when I was in elementary school, about some dog I never had.
In Junior High Mom gave me a little book of poems called, A Cup of Sun, by Joan Walsh Anglund. I practically wore that book out—reading and rereading the poems. In fact, I was so familiar with her work that when the US Post Office screwed up and put out the Maya Angelou postage stamp with a poem practically identical to Andlund’s, I immediately knew something was amiss. (Anglund was very gracious about the whole thing.)
Anglund sparked my interest in poetry. Teenage girls are notorious for their passionate emotions. While I wasn’t as emotional as some teenage girls I knew back then, the emotions I felt were often expressed in poetry. I wrote some pretty sappy poems in those days.
When I had children I began writing poems about motherhood, which I eventually published.
Most of my poems were short—in the spirit of how Angelou had inspired me as a child. But there were several rather long ones, two of which hang in my mother’s bedroom. One was written for my father and the other for Mom.
I don’t profess to be a great poet by any stretch of the imagination, but poetry has always been part of my repertoire.