‘b’, or: ‘d’

My 1st blank verse

Iowa City, Iowa; I still
remember snippets of those childhood days;
the tree in our front yard that I would climb
getting sawed down to a stump for no good
reason; living across the street from my
school: Ernest Horn Elementary School,
where my mother took me to learn to ride
my bicycle when my father's patience
had run out; getting my family of
Pound Puppies taken away - punishment...
I can't recall what it was that I'd done;
maybe it was for splashing water on
my father's hearing aid; his bloody legs
and arms, after riding his bicycle
across some sand on the way home from work;
bird poop landing on the sidewalk in front
of me, as I was strolling around with
my mother; that first and only filling
I ever got in a tooth; Jacqueline
was the name of my crush back in first grade;
she had brown hair and very big glasses,
which I photographed casually when
my parents told me that we'd be moving
away; she was wearing a purple shirt
and skirt in that photo, squinting at the
sun; my mother panicking at a fire
blazing in our kitchen, while six-year-old
me calmly turned on the hose and doused it;
getting my foot injured because mother
insisted on sitting me on the back
of her bicycle without a children's
seat and so, unprotected, it got caught
in the spokes of her back wheel; my cousin
and aunt moving to the United States
from the Soviet Union as it was
falling apart; feeling foolish because
I insisted that my aunt should give me
chocolate milk for my cereal, which
tasted horrible; my older cousin
playing in the little tent I'd set up
in my bedroom and hitting me for some
reason; being warned that somebody at
a meal we attended might suddenly
begin shouting because he had Tourette's;
accidentally stapling my finger
at my mother's office, while there alone;
her leaving me to watch a seemingly
cute movie with a small, fuzzy creature
on the cover, which made me run, screaming
out of the room when the Gremlins came out
of those slimy cocoons; being taken
to see a university basket-
ball game; having an Atari gaming
station; the moving trucks and the magnets
shaped like little trucks, which the movers gave
us that I really liked for some reason;
figuring out the difference between
a lowercase 'd' and a lowercase
'b' with my letter magnets on the fridge...

d’Verse Poetics Prompt:

‘In The Light of Other Days’

At d’Verse, poets were prompted to write a poem recalling some specific thing or things from the past OR more generally about what evokes a memory or memories in you.

For an extra optional challenge, poets could write their pieces in ten-syllable or blank verse line (to give the sensation of actual speech, engaging others).


Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

48 thoughts on “‘b’, or: ‘d’”

  1. Isn’ t it amazing what we have stored in the attic of our brains! I loved reading your memories, David!

  2. You have a vivid recollection of your childhood! I suspect I could not retrieve more than 3 or 4 images from age 6. It really creates a full picture. (K)

  3. thanks for sharing your memories. kind of reminded me of my own when i was that age. i too had a huge tree in my front yard. My brother I built a tree house in it. And then my dad decided the tree must come down. i think it was for safety reasons. I am not bragging but it was the tallest tree in my neighborhood and he figured it might fall on the house as it was struck by lighting one time.

  4. The stuff that childhood memories are made of! This is so lovely, super-charged with nostalgia. I remember pound puppies: that really takes me back!

  5. this stream of memories, almost unpunctuated was a marvellous melee – a joy to read and imagine the pictures you painted (like a flip/flick book). So glad you have mastered the b/d difference and can write such poetry!

  6. Oh dear, can you believe
    The poet actually chose and altogether different route
    And thus in blank verse
    In a rhythm uniquely his own
    Here he writes his most loving and also hilariously funny chilhood memories, or was that a memoir
    In any case i enjoyed pushing my own bicycle, skip hopping along as he told of his childhood and oh so adorable days engulfed in a poignant history. Moving along with the aged touching on their ailments…. Immigrants surely they know how to tell a story.

  7. You had an interesting childhood, I like the way the poetry, rather the thoughts sourt of glisade into one another , just like reality – when one is taking a quick recce of times gone by.

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