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Poem: "Making Friends" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Making Friends"

This poem came out of the September 18, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from e_scapism101 and kelkyag.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the Monster House series, which you can explore further on the Serial Poetry page.

Making Friends

The birthday sleepovers
were becoming a tradition, although
I had given up on trying to make them normal.

Instead I invited Naomi and her golem
and Susie and her monster in the closet
and this time all of my housemates joined us
instead of hiding while we had company.

Then my brother's friend Melinda wanted to come,
even though she's littler, and she brought
her boot lizard who was timid
and stayed in the form of a cast-iron bootjack
until we set him next to the radiator.
Finally he shook himself loose and
touched noses with the radiator dragon.
It was really cute watching them make friends.

Supper turned into a jumble of trying to remember
what was kosher that Naomi could eat,
and the golem couldn't talk
but sure made his opinions known anyway.
Susie wasn't picky but her monster wouldn't touch carrots.

We played Scrabble,
which started an argument
when Susie laid down something in Spanish
and the golem wanted to use Yiddish
and the bogeyman insisted that the rules only allowed English.

My mother just laughed gently and said,
"Since when do we worry about arbitrary rules in this house?
Just let people use whatever languages they know."
"But then there's no way to tell if the words are even real,"
the bogeyman complained.

"Well, we can keep the dictionary rule,"
my mother suggested.
So Susie dragged out her laptop
and looked up a Spanish dictionary site while
Naomi opened the Yiddish app on her smartphone.
The bogeyman still won.

When we camped out on the bedroom floor,
Susie dragged her sleeping bag over to
the closet where her monster was standing.
Naomi giggled.  "Why do you like sleeping there?"
Susie said, "One of Mom's boyfriends was mean
and yelled a lot.  It kind of scared me.
But I figured if the monster in the closet was scary,
maybe he'd protect me -- and he did."

"Cid doesn't come to our house anymore,"
said Susie's monster.  "Go to sleep, girls."

Yeah, he'd never  been to a sleepover before.

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Current Mood: busy busy

10 comments or Leave a comment
catsittingstill From: catsittingstill Date: September 20th, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh these are so cute! I fall over and pretend to be dead of cute!

I want a boot lizard.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 21st, 2012 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)


I have seen bootjacks in a variety of styles, most often made of cast iron or brass. Crickets are common. I have seen lizards. There are a few other animal styles too.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: September 21st, 2012 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Another of the fun ones--I can almost SEE the illustrations that could go with this poem. Good job.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 21st, 2012 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)


It would make a good collage page, with captions in a few of the panels.
siege From: siege Date: September 21st, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

An image of the Scrabble game, with such creatures at the board, and three different dictionaries...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 22nd, 2012 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

That would be a great deal of fun.
book_worm5 From: book_worm5 Date: August 27th, 2014 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

It would! I'm picturing an illustration style somewhat like Robert Munsch's books, or perhaps Where the Wild Things Are. If only I could convince art to beam out of my head and show up the way I imagine it...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 27th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

I know the feeling. My eye for color and for composition, those are perfectly intact; but my hands won't stand up to the demands. Some of what I write would be well rendered in art, or comics.
ladymondegreen From: ladymondegreen Date: September 21st, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
The images in this poem are great. I also love the idea of everyone pulling out their dictionaries to play Scrabble.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 21st, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I've done that, actually. Otherwise it's too hard to define what's an absorbed borrowing vs. what's still part of a foreign language.
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