July 13, 2010

I bought a bunch
well, really I bought two
(we’d been eating them so fast, you see).

But one bunch
is going black
before the other bunch
is gone
(shows you how well it pays to be prepared).

So in the morning,
I’m making muffins.

©Erin Kilmer 2010

#3 in my Baby Words series.


Construction Zone

May 25, 2010

She came home today
from the doctor’s office
with a Barbie sticker on her
fat baby belly.

It took me by surprise–
after these years of boys I have
grown accustomed to
dump trucks and race cars.

And all I could think
is how different this
whole girl thing is–
what with the dolls and the

tutus and the pink pink pink
on everything. No one calls
a little boy “Daddy’s little bumblebee”
or “sweet baby butterfly.”

And I don’t even want to imagine
the differences there will be someday–
when she has entered and then left
the Barbie stage.

But today I’m simply left with the thought,
as I pull the sticker off her onesie,
that I’d be more comfortable with Barbie
if she were driving a dump truck.


Thinking about Barbies, thanks to Marcus Goodyear and Tweetspeak Poetry. Click the links to learn more.

The Box Elder Bug Song

April 29, 2010

The Box Elder Bug Song
by Erin Kilmer, age 13
(to be sung to the tune of “America the Beautiful”)

Oh disgusting for thin red stripes
Upon a black background
For skinny legs and small flat back
And head that looks around!

Box elder bug, box elder bug,
Please migrate off my shed!
And if you don’t, believe me,

****for the story of the box elder bug song, visit my everyday blog.****

Cupcake Poetry

April 20, 2010

Yesterday at work I involved my darling little cupcakes in writing some poetry, without their knowledge. It is, after all, National Poetry Month. And I knew that if I told them I wanted them to write poems, they would have all freaked out and gotten overwhelmed, because people generally think poetry is something much more complicated than it is.

My plan is to show them these sometime this week and then get them to write their own. We’ll see how it goes.

(For those of you who do not know everything there is to know about me, I work with elementary school children in an after-school program)

We did these out on the playground. I walked around and asked several kids their favorite thing about spring, and used their responses as the titles of the poems. Then I walked around again and just asked random kids to “tell me about _____” or “what do you think about ______?” or “tell me what pops into your head when I say _______.”

I just put each child’s response on a line and viola! Some of them are pretty ridiculous, but there are a couple that I thought were fun. Anyway, I’m just going to share them all because it is a fascinating insight into the minds of children.

they are really pretty
they grow
how bright they are

It’s Hot
I need water
I don’t know
but I should wear shorts
the sun’s out
it feels good outside

I don’t know
plain and blank and white
just play
pretty boring!

you have to hit a ball
it’s a fun game
(can I go to the bathroom now?)
there’s a bat
I like baseball
the best part is you get a jacket

My Birthday
it is awesome
best day ever
I get to go skating
I get cake
and ice cream!
vanilla cake and strawberry

Not Wearing a Coat
when it’s hot out
it’s awesome
–and I got another one–
it’s hot
in the summertime.

Aren’t they fun? A little silly but I think they’re cool and I hope to do something similar with my own boys sometime soon. Maybe they will help show the kids that poetry doesn’t have to be arduous.

This next is a set of haiku I produced by walking around and just staring at the kids until they responded. The only thing I edited out was several what?s, because that’s what they pretty much all said to me at first. This makes me giggle, but it might just be me. I’m going to share it anyway.


anymore questions?
sigh. what? please stop following
me Erin. What? Why are

you staring at me?
Your phone’s ringing. Yes? We’re just
picking flowers. Whoa.

She’s looking at me.
Hey Miss Erin. I have a
joke for you. Okay?

April showers bring
May flowers. What do may flow’rs
bring? Pilgrims! How’s that?

Get it? Mayflower?
Oh duh. Okay. I can’t watch
her right now. Erin!

I’m gonna jump off!
Oh. Hello. Whatcha doin’?
Whatcha lookin’ at?

What? What? What? What? What?
Hey Miss Erin. I’m smiling.
I’m climbing a pole.

I am strong. Why are
you just doing that? What are
you doing? tee hee–

We have woodchips. It’s
a letter One. Ha-ha. A
number One. My foot

is out the window.
I’ll be stuck forever. Aaaaah!
What are you looking

At? You’re bored or some-
thing? What are you doing? Ha
ha ha ha ha. What?

The Rhyme Not Written

April 18, 2010

The Rhyme Not Written
by Erin Kilmer for my sister Laura
with deepest apologies to Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And being one who struggles with decision-making,
I thought it would be best if I just sat right down
With paper and pen procured I don’t know where
And wrote a poem about it.

It’s not a very good poem, I fear.
It seems a bit too familiar, and possibly
Like someone else, passing this way before
May have written something similar,
Only a good deal better.

I’m sure no college student,
Poring over books in the middle of the night,
Will write an essay over this work,
And I’m sure not one of them
Will be even the slightest bit disappointed by that fact.

Those roads there, branching off to left and right,
Are they crucial paths into my future?
Or are they simply two unimportant ways,
A choice as meaningful as which flavor of ice cream to buy?
And if I take one above the other, does it matter?

I think in the end I may never know.
But I do know this: I have written this poem
Without rhythm or rhyme or point
And someday I may look back and realize
That has made all the difference.

(But I doubt it.)

Poem Days

April 9, 2010

Poem Days
Erin Kilmer

Some days are poem days

every moment
running with ink
awash in words
pulsing with rhythm

Some days are poem days

every moment
leaping with color
singing with rhyme
dancing with imagery

Some days are poem days


some days

are simply


His Imaginary Pet

April 6, 2010

His Imaginary Pet
Erin Kilmer

If Smaug were a robot dragon,
I expect he would
not be so witty,
for robots are not known
for their love of riddle-speak.

If Smaug were a robot dragon,
I expect he would
not be so prideful,
for robots are not known
for being puffed-up over jeweled coats.

If Smaug were a robot dragon,
I expect he would
not be so graceful,
for I have seen my son
drive his remote-control truck in my living room.

But if Smaug were a robot dragon,
I expect he would
let me have all the treasure,
for his five-year-old controller
is forever sharing his sparkle with me.

If Smaug were a robot dragon,
I expect we wouldn’t need
All that nonsense about plundering,
Flying arrows, or dragon carcasses.
Unless you’re a bad guy, of course.


Art has been reading The Hobbit to the boys, and Stinky is entirely fascinated by Smaug. Today he informed me that Smaug was a remote-controlled robot dragon, controlled, of course, by Stinky himself. Made me laugh and inspired a little silliness.