Linda Kulp Trout

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Recently, I realized my mother has never told me much about what I was like as a baby. The only thing she ever told me was that my father would put me in the closet when I cried until I eventually fell asleep. The other night on the phone, I asked her to tell me more, but it's been over fifty years and many babies came after me. She said she really couldn't remember anything. Funny how after all this time, I just now started wondering about it.

Today, I wrote this in my journal. Is it the start of a poem or just random thoughts? I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it still needs work. Suggestions and comments are welcome and appreciated. : )


My mother never talks about
what I was like as a baby.
Anytime I ask she says
I don’t remember.

The only story she tells
is how when I was little
my father used to put me
in a dark closet until
I cried myself to sleep.
She says he hated hearing
me cry but when I ask her

she just says
I don’t remember.

My father wouldn’t
have to worry now
(If he were around)


I wonder
if it's because
somewhere deep down


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Poetry Friday: Trooper

Earlier this month, our local news reported on a pit bull found in a D.C. city dumpster, apparently a victim of dog fighting. She was taped inside a plastic trash bag and discarded.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about her and what a horrific existence she must have had. My heart aches to know that there are many animals abused everyday. I can't understand how someone could put an animal through so much pain.

I needed to do something, so I sent a donation in her honor to a fund for abused animals. That just didn't seem like enough so as I thought about what to share this week for Poetry Friday, I decided to share her story. She fought so hard to survive, the police officer who rescued her named her Trooper.

I couldn't get the lines to indent the way I wanted them to so I hope it still makes sense.

for Trooper

You weren’t willing
to die that day—
when they taped
your bruised and battered
body inside a plastic bag
and tossed you
into a city dumpster.

You weren’t willing
to die that day—
when you bravely chewed
your way through the darkness—

a hole just big enough
to be seen

your face layered
with blood and flies

barely alive—

You weren’t willing
to die that day
when your savior
freed your tortured limbs

too weak to stand alone
too strong to give up

You weren’t willing
to die that day—
neglected, abused
forced to be a fighter

but still

to forgive—

You can see a picture of Trooper and read more about her progress here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Poetry Friday: Last Year's Sneakers

Tricia's poetry stretch this week at The Miss Rumphius Effect was to write a poem about an article of clothing. Be sure to visit her site to read the great poems folks wrote in response to the challenge.

Like most kids, when my sons were younger, getting just the right sneakers was always high on their back to school shopping list. As soon as we got home from the store, off went the old sneakers, on with the new. The old sneakers abandoned and forgotten. This is my tribute to all the old sneakers still lying on some kid's bedroom floor.

Last Year’s Sneakers

Lie on the bedroom floor
their smooth white skin
now scuffed by time
their laces once neon tangerine
now thread-bare apricot
their soles once full of bounce
now worn and weary

Last year’s sneakers
lie on the bedroom floor
their replacements
unboxed, laced up
and admired


Last year’s sneakers
lie on the bedroom floor
ready to rest

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Poetry Friday: Embarrassing Then, Funny Now

Yesterday, we got a post card in the mail announcing monthly bulk trash pick-up. As I thought about the items I might set out, a childhood experience came back to me.. I remembered the embarrassment and horror that my friends would find out our family secret, but now it's just plain funny. I couldn't get the formatting to work the way I wanted it to, but here's what I wrote in my journal:


Tuesday nights after supper,
our family went shopping—
cruising rich neighborhoods
scanning garbage heaps like pirates
searching for trash night treasures.

There! Mom would squeal,
That vinyl chair is perfect!

We’d coast along the curb
so Dad could get a better look,
Yep! Looks ALMOST new!

In a breath,
he was out of the car,
our prize hoisted into the trunk
the lid battened down with rope—
we were ready to sail

(so embarrassing)
Dad knocked on the door requesting
permission to pick through
a pile full possibilities.

Dad could fix anything
worn out washers
broken bikes
toasters, TVs—

Our house a bounty
of other people’s

I worried my friends
would spot

And wished
just once—

We could shop
in a store
like they did.