On Writing

Rhyme Time

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Neither did I! That’s why I’m writing about it now!

I’m a little bit troubled that I am so late to this particular party. I really should have known. I work at a school and schools live for these kinds of distractions.

Furthermore, my brother-in-law is a pretty famous poet named Philip Memmer who’s won lots of awards and has a new book out and everything. (It’s OK if you’ve never heard of him. I hadn’t heard of him either until I started falling in love with his sister.) His poetry is great, even if it doesn’t rhyme – and it doesn’t, which is still kind of a shame.

I have written a number of picture book manuscripts, but only one of those manuscripts, Donut Run, is in verse. The process was both painful and long. I worked on Donut Run on and off for about two years before I finally considered it good enough to start accumulating rejection letters.

So, to celebrate National Poetry Month while I still can, I thought I’d post the first few stanzas. And, since you know what a comments section is for, consider this an invitation  to have at it.

DONUT RUN

My mom loves to cook, she just doesn’t know how.

She often fries up the wrong parts of the cow,

Or the lamb, or the fish, or whatever’s on hand,

And makes a concoction that no one can stand.

But she hit a new low on one snowy day,

When she piled our plates high with pig snout soufflé.

 

My dad took one look. He then rose from his chair,

And made up a lie just to get out of there.

“A meeting!” he shouted. “Oh, my! And I’m late!”

I’m really so sorry. Those noses look great.”

Then, Dad, with a satisfied smile on his face,

Ran right out the door straight for Ray’s Pizza Place.

 

“More for us,” Mom shrugged, as she reached for a bite,

She nibbled a nostril and then turned chalk white.

“Oh my! This is awful! Don’t eat this, it’s bad.”

Then she gazed at my plate and saw that I had.

Empty! Amazing! The plate was licked clean!

Mom looked, but the dog was nowhere to be seen.

 

“That’s right,” I announced. “I ate every bite.

I deserve a dessert! You know that I’m right!”

For dramatic effect I leapt to my feet.

“The badder the meal then the better the treat!”

My Mom understood. She just nodded and said,

“You’re wanting that donut the size of your head.”