On William Carlos Williams.

[The assignment: write a poem in the style of William Carlos Williams.]

The New Book

I sit in my room
and open the book.

The spine creaks and groans
and the pages flit-flit-flit as I turn them.

I wonder
about the strange names and places
as I study the map in the front.

The smell
is so reassuring, and as I breathe it in

I think
this is going to be

On solutions.

Mum. When I’m older I’m going to construct a gun that knocks people out.

OH. Uh, when would you use it?

To help you sleep. Whenever you wanted to go to bed, I could tuck you in and just put you out.

On tidying.

Hey, dude! I noticed you put away your laundry – nice work.

It’s no big deal. I did it last night, at Dad’s behest.

On opening lines.

Allie is apparently writing a novel. This is the opening line:

Once there was a Universe. A universe that abhorred superheroes.”

On adventures in adults #2

[We enter an elevator mid-conversation…]

You did well back there with the boy at the clinic, dude. I think he may have just been less of an extrovert than you are.

I am definitely an extrovert. It makes sense that he was a little shy if he’s an introvert.

[Older gentleman gives me a weird look. Looks down at the kid.]

Older gent: But can you spell “introvert?”

[I get ready to intervene, but as it turns out I didn’t need to.*]

Introvert. Hm. I.N. – T.R.O – V.E.R.T. Did I get it?

[We exit the elevator and I don’t even look back.]

Yes, little dude – yes, you did.


*I don’t mind this kind of thing at all if she’s chatting with an adult and they try stumping her as part of a game where everyone is already having fun… but just walking into an elevator and straight into a spelling test seems like a) Dancing Monkey territory or b) a blatant attempt to take her down a peg. I am very happy to (sweetly) tell people off when necessary.

On adventures in adults #1

[I was getting my blood drawn. The technician was quite amused by Allie and started chatting with her. It emerged that I’m 42 years old and she is seven.]

Technician: So… How many times older than you is your mother?

Easy! She’s six times older than me because 42 divided by 7 is six. Which means that she is 35 years older than me – because five groups of 7 is 35. That won’t work next year, but then I can always just subtract – there are always lots of ways to work things out.

Technician: Oh! 

I see I also guessed the correct number of vials for your blood, Mum. He DID take three!

On the human thesaurus.

[I hand Allie a new mechanical pencil.]

Oh! Look at you, my little purple pencil… You are so pristine, so immaculate, so unsullied!


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