Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, July 15, 2010

POETRY FRIDAY: Poems about Objects

Do you have an object that you never or hardly ever use, but you keep it because it reminds you of someone or someplace special? When I look around my house, I see all sorts of things that I don't use, but I could never part with them.  For instance, there's the mantle clock my mother gave me that hasn’t worked in years, a tarnished necklace from my first boyfriend (almost 40 yrs.ago), a baby spoon bent from getting stuck in the disposal, movie ticket stubs, a cocktail umbrella from a night out, and  a stuffed bunny my 12 yr. old cat played with when he was a kitten. Some people would see these items as junk, but to me they are all treasures. I keep them because they hold memories, and looking at them keeps a special time in my life alive. This week I wrote poems about objects.  I had a hard time coming up with the "so what" endings I was aiming for, but I decided to share two of them anyway. I welcome your suggestions.

Dad's Corvette

Every Saturday
Dad waxes his Corvette

until it shines
Candy apple red

But he hardly ever drives it anymore
with its engine that rattles and roars
so loud you can hear it
two streets away
(so embarrassing).

When Dad asks
if I want to go for a ride
I just roll my eyes
and shake my head

This morning when
I asked Mom why he keeps
that good-for-nothing car
she said it’s not just a car,
for Dad, it’s about memories

of their first date
and how they got soaked
in a sudden spring shower
before Dad put the top up

of me age three
sitting behind the wheel
pretending to drive

of going to car shows
with Grandpa
the year before he died

Now I understand
It’s like my collection of postcards—
they help me remember
all the places I’ve been

So next time Dad asks
if I want to go for a ride
I won’t roll my eyes
or shake my head—
I’ll  just smile and say

Grandma's Teacup

Grandma’s favorite teacup
sits on the kitchen shelf
she gave it to me to remember
our tea parties—
       the two of us sipping
       cinnamon apple tea
       eating oatmeal raisin cookies
       and playing card games

But every year that passes
I remember less and less
So now and then
I take her teacup down
and make cinnamon apple tea
just the way she showed me
and all the sweet memories
of Grandma
float back
with every sip

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at my juicy little universe.



  1. "all the sweet memories
    of Grandma
    float back
    with every sip"

    Linda - I think this is the loveliest ending! This poem made me think about my own Grandma's dishes,and I think it's the specificity of your images that did that. You know, objects-begetting-memories sounds like a fun idea for a collection. Those car memories are spot-on too.

    1. I agree what a fabulous poem. Memories are often forgotten in this society and memories touch the heart and can be found when you sit back and relax.

  2. I love your grandmother poem. I've used a similar prompt in the classroom, but with foods. It teaches kids the concept of connotations.

  3. Lovely, Linda! My husband used to have a red Triumph that he held onto for a long time. I'll be thinking of you and your grandma and cinnamon apple tea all day today. Sweet memory!

  4. Yes, things can take us all kinds of places and I love how they do in these poems. Car, teacup: I'm going with the teacup, and I bet you can guess my gender!

  5. Amy-I've been thinking of doing more "object" poems to see if there is a collection there. I wrote several last week and enjoyed it a lot.
    Chris-thanks for stopping by! : )
    Laura-I haven't done the foods, but I did do the objects and special places with students. I think I'll give your idea a try.
    Jama- The car actually belongs to a friend of mine who rarely drives it, but he spends a lot of time working on it. He loves that car!
    Jeannine-Thanks, I like the teacup poem the best too. I'm still working on both of them.

  6. Lots of memories this week! I had places, you've got things! Fun!!

  7. I like the three-way connection between your grandmother, her teacup, and you, Linda. That's a nice pivotal point for a poem.