Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thinking About Dreams



It’s hard to dream

with an eviction notice

on my front door.

It’s hard to dream

when I sleep on

a living room floor.

It’s hard to dream

when I’m still hungry,

but there isn’t any more

It’s hard to dream—

But one thing I know

for sure,

when I grow up

I don’t want to be poor!

©Linda Kulp Trout

Today's poem comes from a combination of my own childhood experience and that of my former students.  

As a child, I was a dreamer.  But, like many children born into poverty, I didn’t think my dreams were possible. So, I pushed my them aside and did what I needed to in order to get through each day.   I started babysitting for money when I was eleven and by twelve, I was employed at my first job.  I didn’t mind working because I was determined to live a different life than I had.  Dreams would have to wait.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams and why we push them to the bottom of our to-do list.  For most of my life, my dream has been to write books that make a difference in the lives of kids. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I'm going to give my dream my best shot. I used to think about my childhood and resent the things I didn’t have.  Now, I choose to be grateful for what I did have. That has made all the difference.  I want to give a voice to the child I once was and the children I used to teach.

What I’ve learned is that no matter how busy our lives are, even taking the tiniest steps toward our dreams makes life so much richer.  This blog post, "Where Have You Been?" inspires me to make time for my dream.

If you have time to leave a comment, I’d love to hear about your dreams and what you’re doing to achieve them.

A big thank you to Jama's Alphabet Soup for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today would have been my mother's 83rd. birthday. She has been gone for more than six years, but I still think of her every day.  Although the scene in the poem I'm sharing today never actually happened, it is a love poem to my mother, part true, part the way I wish things would have been.

Mom was often lost in her thoughts.  I regret never asking her about her dreams. I'm sure she had some. She liked to write. She enjoyed music and dancing. She loved animals. One time she told me that she wanted to go to Africa to see the lions in the wild.  It never happened.

By the time Mom was in her early seventies, she had dementia. She was only 76 (just twelve years older than me) when she passed away. I think about that a lot. It both motivates and scares me, and it's one of the reasons I keep working toward my writing dreams.  Mom inspired me more than she ever knew.  She did the best she knew how, and I'm grateful for the good times we shared.
 This poem is for her.

A Vow

staring out the window it seems
my mother is lost somewhere between
us and her own private dreams

she once told me she'd like to see
Africa where lions live uncaged-- free
just the way they were meant to be

and she wants to write a book someday
but she's just to busy to start it today
with kids to raise and bills to pay--

sometimes I think she secretly wishes
for freedom from housework, diapers, dishes
always the giver of goodnight kisses--

suddenly seeing me standing there,
she calls me over to her chair--
and points to a piece of sky where

the Evening Star waits with a vow--anything
is possible-- her loving smile says everything
as she beings to sing--

-Linda Kulp Trout

A big thank you to Cheriee for hosting today's Poetry Friday at Library Matters.