People! It's Poetry Monday AGAIN!
That week went by like a ... a ... well, like a peregrine falcon.
Which, according to Doug in the comments on Friday's post can reach top speeds of 200 MPH.
So, yeah -- lickety split.
I would like to be able to say I spent the week searching my soul and pondering and ruminating until I crafted an astounding piece of poetry. But the truth is that I was checking on my mom four times a day to make sure she took her antibiotics (because she was quite confused), and I was working, and doing all the usual other stuff, so this week Poetry Monday was looking like it would be bleak and empty.
Then I remembered a poem from my childhood. (And I realized I lied when I said HERE that I've only memorized two poems in my life. Because clearly I still remember this gem and that means I memorized it, too.)
Maybe I remember this verse so clearly because of the circumstances. My uncle was a member of the Armed Forces and was stationed in Egypt as a member of the UN Peacekeeping Force in the 1960s. My aunt (his wife) and their three children were visiting us for a few weeks in the summer. My brother and I brought the total kid count to five, ranging in age from three to eleven; I was in the middle of the pack at about seven years old. One day, when we were probably driving our mothers up a tree with our behavior, we were tasked with writing letters to my uncle. We used blue airmail paper, tissue-thin and of small dimensions, because it cost less to send it overseas. Then, as now, I loved any kind of paper and this was particularly intriguing because each sheet folded up to make its own envelope.
I had to plan my letter carefully because there was so little space on the page. I didn't really know what to say to my uncle. He had been a rather hazy figure in my life until that point. But I knew he liked jokes and funny stories, and I had just read a good one in a children's magazine. It went like this:
A peanut sat on a railroad track;
His heart was all a-flutter.
A train came speeding down the track --
TOOT!! TOOT!! Peanut butter!!
When I read it, I laughed so hard I had a stomach ache and tears running down my face. It was just one of those times -- you know what I mean? -- when something strikes you as being SO funny and the more you think about it the funnier it gets.
So I started my letter with the usual enquiries of his health, and the fact that my health was good (i.e., "Dear Uncle, How are you? I am fine."), and then offered up the adventures of Mr. Peanut.
When my uncle returned from Egypt, I was thrilled to find he had brought me a finely tooled drawstring purse made of soft leather, which I treasure to this day. In it was an Egyptian coin which I have kept for all these years, too.
And most important of all, I still have his letter that he sent in reply to mine, before his return to Canada. In it, among other comments, he said "this old country is hot and dusty," and that he had liked the verse very much.
What a kind response to a child's attempt to entertain. I'm fairly sure his deployment wasn't very much fun and that verse didn't do much to help. But it made my day when that thin, blue letter arrived in our mailbox with my name on it.
Maybe next week I will be able to crank out an original poem, for a change. Wish me luck; I'm going to need it.
This fellow doesn't need luck. He got his head in there with the peanuts by dint of hard work, a clever brain, and a nose like a bloodhound. Not to mention those little paws.
I think there's a lesson in there somewhere for me.
(Photo credit: Pixabay, a bottomless well of freely available photos for anything your furry little heart desires.)