Friday, September 25, 2015


It's Poetry Friday!  

I got a text from my daughter this morning.

Her 4 year old son asked to wear these shoes today.  He's usually in flipflops or Crocs, but today he asked to wear his "stress shoes".  And he named them:  Bobo and Bernie. 

Then he proceeded to "Time Out" when he couldn't wear them to go outside and do yard work.  There was a bit of a rough patch preceeding the "Time Out"... but we've all seen those, so I needn't describe the exchange that would lead to a need to calm down, right?  Speaking of "stress shoes"...

It was handy timing because I didn't know what I would write about.  I had no poem, until then.  Thanks, Grandson!  
Maybe next week I'll include his hand conversation at breakfast.

"Come on, you stress shoes!"
Stress Shoes

I want to wear my stress shoes
They're black and have real laces
I think I'll call them Bobo
And Bernie - with no faces.
Still they each have tongues,
Even though they do not smile;
And mom says I can wear them
For just a little while.
I cannot do real stress in them;
No working in the yard,
Even though I promised
Not to make them work too hard.
She says that they are dress shoes
But that just can't be so
I think I'd know it if they were
They'd need to have a bow.
Wait, Mom tied my laces in a - Oh, no!
Aren't dress shoes just for dresses?
Should I name them Brynne and Brenda?
Now I really know what stress is!
I wish I had real stress shoes
To work and kick about
Then I would be outside instead
Of waiting in Time Out.

by Nannie, ©Donna JT Smith, 2015

I forgot!  I did have a poem to share... in case you missed it -
Michelle H. Barnes, on Today's Little Ditty, is posting a whole slew of ME poems sent in by brave souls - poems of a pivotal moment in your young life to share with the world!  My poem, "A Passing Remark", is posted there with many wonderful snippets of our younger lives!

by Donna JT Smith
I was a child
of field and truck
with fingernails
a’la dirt and mud

the neighbors had
a girlie girl
with skin so soft
and hair a’curl

pale of face
with body narrow
a shape that barely
made a shadow

rosy cheeks and
toned farm arms
should not have been
cause for alarm

but our neighbor’s visitor
said to me
as I passed by
“Hello, chubby!”
from that time on
I realized
it mattered if
you weren’t pint-sized;

and that is when
my fight began
with body image
and who I am.

Visit.  Read.  Laugh.  Cry.  Gasp.  Wince.  Giggle.
Then think about what YOU might write before September 30!

Read more poetry on this glorious Poetry Friday
hosted by Janet Wong at Poetry for Children
and clicking on the links to other participants!

Great fun is in store
for those who read more!


  1. Oh my, how delightful children are. I couldn't figure out what that 'stress' might be till your poem. I can imagine why the time out, too. Happy to capture this moment, Donna!

    1. They are coming to visit for a few days at the beginning of October..I think Nannie will have to buy him some "stress shoes" so he can help in the yard!

  2. Your grandson-inspired poem has me smiling--especially "...with no faces. Still they each have tongues Even though they do not smile," and the playful sex-role stresses: "...Oh, no! Aren't dress shoes just for dresses? Should I name them Brynne and Brenda?" Stress shoes" ...It's great how little ones hear and speak..I still remember chasing our son, running away from the oncoming spoon of medicine, insisting as he cried, "no tampbotiotic."
    As much as I was glad-heartened by the poem about your grandson, I was sad-heartened in the ME poem by your having been called "chubby." I was called any number of names based on body features. It really scars, doesn;t it? ...One of my nickname-problems was the opposite of yours (then, not now!)--"You're so skinny. You're disgusting. We can't look at those toothpick arms. Yuk! Cover them." As a result, I tried putting on weight by eating unhealthy foods. So sad for both of us ...May God heal both of us! Inasmuch as poetry gives us a chance to voice our hurts, to see in others' poetry their hurts, and use both experiences to grow more aware/stronger, poetry--the Poetry Friday community, in particular, is quite a blessing, isn;t it? Thank you for sharing both poems today!

    1. You know, there was good that came from the stranger's comment; I became aware of the power of words and was quite careful never to say things that would inflict pain - especially to a child. It is easy to say something in passing, and impossible to take it back.

  3. I love how kids misinterpret what they hear, but, hey, we adults do it, too. If we didn't, Dave Barry couldn't have written, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy, a book that made me laugh til my stomach hurt.

    1. I remember in the song "Walking in a Winter Wonderland", thinking the words were "later on we'll perspire, as we dream by the fire"... made sense to me!

  4. Oh, NOW I get why they are "stress" shoes!

  5. Maybe the ones you buy him could be "de-stress shoes" :-)

  6. What a contrast these two poems are; the whimsy of the first, and the sad 'truth' in the second. Words. So powerful. You've used yours well.

  7. Hi, Donna, and thank you for joining our Poetry Friday fun this week-- and for sharing this sweet story and poem. My own daughter had a "stress dress" that she would wear at age 5 when she needed an extra boost!

  8. Yes, I was thinking that those stress shoes looked perfect for working in the yard--much better than flip flops or crocs--and I was halfway through the poem before I realized what he was saying. BEST place for poem ideas: the things kids say.

    Hooray for you for learning a lesson from your chubby experience. I'm afraid that all my mom learned from hers was how to pass the hurt down to me. She is wonderful; I love her; she is sorry to know that I have quite a list of her comments that reverberate verbatim in my mind concerning my appearance/weight/fashion choices. Can't shake em. *sigh* On the (heh heh) plus side, I think I've done a better job with my daughter. Not PERFECT (cos there's no such thng) but better. : )

  9. Nice to have such a ready supply of inspiration, Donna! I wish I had written down more stories from when mine were little. You know how that goes. I only wish they had a Nannie who was inclined to document those everyday moments in poetry. Thanks again for your poignant "ditty" this month, and for the enthusiastic invitation here for people to visit the wrap-up and write their own!

  10. thanks for sharing; meaning to children are pure and can be an adults inspiration as well as delight

    tea and ixoras

    much love...


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