Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Little Monster House on the Prairie"

This poem came out of the March 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug.  It was sponsored by janetmiles.  This poem belongs to the series Monster House.

Little Monster House on the Prairie

When I read bedtime stories
to my daughter,
we have an audience:
always the monsters
under-the-bed and in-the-closet,
often the bogeyman,
and the lurking shadow
draped like a quilt across the bed.

She loves the "Little House" series
by Laura Ingalls Wilder,
and it's a bit of a surprise
to find that not everyone else agrees.

When I ask why,
the monster under the bed
sighs and explains, "They weren't
very friendly people, that family.
I heard about it from one of my uncles.
When they moved into the dugout,
they crowded out the other residents
who hadn't left with that nice immigrant family.
Not everybody wants to move,
but sometimes you don't get a choice."

I think about the rustic description
of the house built under a hill
with its whitewashed walls and sod roof,
and the time a cow put a foot right through
into the room below.
Such a pretty little place, it had seemed,
described so cheerfully, and yet
now it shifts in my mind's eye.

Sometimes, I realize,
history looks different
depending on who's writing it down.

* * *


You can read more about the "Little House" books.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, history, poem, poetry, reading, writing

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