Friday, November 16, 2007

Poetry Friday: Relatives

Hoberman, Mary Ann. 1991. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers.

Relatives by Mary Ann Hoberman

When relatives come visit us,
They pinch my cheek and make a fuss;
They chuck my chin and call me lamb
And say how nice and big I am.
They pat my head and call me dear
And talk as if I couldn't hear:

"He's got his Uncle Perry's nose
And Cousin Charlie's chubby toes
And Emma's ears and Julian's skin
And Aunt Meg's freckles on his chin.
His voice is just like Grandpa's was;
He blinks the way that Grandma does;
He's got the family's hazel eyes;
He'll likely reach his father's size.
He looks a tiny bit too thin
But that's because of Carolyn.
He has his mother's knobby knees
And Grandma's brother's allergies.
They says he is a little wild
And stubborn, like Naomi's child
(The one who wasn't very smart).
His father says he's good in art
The same as he was years ago;
They both take after Cousin Joe,
And didn't Denny draw and paint?
Remember how she used to faint?
Her father fainted too, they say;
When he was ten, his hair turned gray;
It passed on to his older son
(Or was it to the younger one?)
They were quite handsome even so;
The other one, who moved to Greece
And was left-handed like his niece.
His hair is more like Jack's although
He looks a little more like Joe."

And while I go on standing there
And they keep mussing up my hair
And calling me a little lamb,
I wonder who I really am.

Poetry Friday roundup is at Big A, Little A.


Ladytink_534 5:13 PM  

That's cute! I've always loved poetry that was written with children in mind but can easily be for adults.

TadMack 8:25 AM  

I love this poem. To me, the child sounds nervous -- unsure about who they will end up becoming. Adults don't always know the seeds they're planting with the ritual hair-tousling and cheek pinch -- doubt and fear and nerves and tiny bright hopes...

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