Posts Tagged ‘Mama’

Mama Declares War


Run outside or hold your breath
Mama’s gonna put some germs to death
Look out, you all – get out, I say
Mama and her Clorox are on the way

I smell it comin’, even outdoors
It stings your eyes and opens your pores
She’ll scrub the floors and fixtures, too
Everything is Cloroxed before she’s through

Look out, germs, her Clorox spray
Will sear your lungs this very day
Mama’s got germ killin’ on her mind
Better find a tree to get behind

My eyes are watering, I’m gasping air
Mama’s killin’ germs just everywhere
Warning!, Sis and little Bro
Don’t breath deep if you want to grow

Mama kills germs from ceiling to floor
When she and Clorox join in war
There’s no germs livin’, I swear it’s true
Mama killed ‘em all in a mile or two

Next time watch for that gleam in her eye
Or you’ll be sorry – you want to know why?
She’ll dump a lot in your nightly tub
And you’ll get bleached from a Clorox scrub

If you want a long life on germ killin’ day
You better stay out of Mama’s way
Run outside. Take a big book
When Mama’s wearin’ that Clorox look

8/11/04 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

3’rd Place – Mo. State Poetry Society – 2004

Note … Thanks to Diann Guidry’s

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One year, when I was young, we were quarantined.  I just knew that Santa could not come because there was a big sign in front of our house warning him, and everyone else, away.  So, when dad carried me downstairs and I saw what Santa had brought, I could not believe my eyes. This is a true story from my childhood. 


I want to thank you all for the joy you have brought me this year; reading and commenting on my poems. 


A very Happy Holiday to each and everyone and a Merry Christmas too.


So long ago, on Christmas Eve,

In deep Depression years,

I thought that Santa wouldn’t come,

Yet, I choked back my tears,


I’d chosen from Sears catalog

A doll with real curls,

And longed for her with all my heart –

A trait of little girls.


I dreamed my dreams, as children do,

And hung to hope’s thin thread.

I prayed that doll would soon be mine,

Then snuggled down in bed.


Awaking early Christmas day,

I hurried down the stairs,

And there beneath the Christmas tree

Was the doll of my prayers.


Dressed in yellow organdy,

Trimmed with ribbons and bows,

Stood a doll with real hair

Adorned with satin rose.


This lovely doll of years gone by

Had secrets Mama knew.

I learned them later in my youth,

I swear to you, it’s true.


Mama had taken an old doll

With chipped and painted hair,

Then repainted mouth, cheeks, and ears,

And spots where it was bare.


The darling buttoned oilcloth shoes

That my doll would wear,

Were cut from our big tablecloth,

Each stitch sewn in with care.


She then cut up her best dance gown

To make a ruffled dress,

And what she did about the hair,

I’m sure you’d never guess.


Mama cut off her own chignon,

Which really was quite big,

And fashioned long banana curls,

To make my doll a wig.


This gift my Mother made for me

Was matchless as to price,

But what was priceless, had I known,

Was Mama’s sacrifice.


7/7/88     –   Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


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          GOLDEN CURLS


Golden curls upon the floor,

He’s not a baby anymore.

His baby look went with that gold,

And Mama wept when she was told.


‘Twas Dad’s surprise for Mom and child,

To cut that hair and have it styled.

And when she saw her little lad,

She may have smiled but still felt sad.


If she could glue those curls in place

She’d frame them ‘round his little face,

Instead she puts them in a book,

And smiles at her small son’s new look.


3/10/96         Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Mama Loved Geraniums


Mama loved geraniums

She’d place them on a sill

And plant some in her garden

Among the herbs and dill

Pots of them were everywhere

On porch and old fence rails

Even by the old outhouse

In dented rusty pails

In the fall she’d bring them in

So each room held a share

And there they’d bloom all winter

With her devoted care

The years have passed, and in a glen

Geraniums show their face

Beside a white granite stone

That marks her resting place

1/27/90       Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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Mama’s Apron

        MAMA’S APRON


I came to close the old homestead

Its structure old and frail

And found a token from the past

Left hanging on a nail

Just a piece of faded gingham

Plain and gathered full

With bands my Mama tied behind

Which Papa loved to pull

A tear sought solace on my cheek

I held the apron fast

For memories stirred my heart and soul

As I recalled its past

It carried eggs in from the nest

And apples from our grove

It carried harvest to the house

And kindling for the stove

It wiped away the children’s tears

It chased the flies away

It often was a wrap-a-round

When sister went to play

When Mama cooked and baked for us

It held hot pots and pans

And if the kitchen got too warm

It=s corners served as fans

It also was a shoulder cape

When Mama cut our hair

It made a dandy hideaway

When draped across a chair

I saw it chase the birds away

In Mama’s garden rows

And once it stemmed the steady flow

From brother’s bloody nose

On week-end nights when I was small

And washtub baths were due

The apron hung between two chairs

Protecting me from view

And now it functions once again

As in those by-gone years

It’s folds are lifted to my eyes

To wipe away my tears



3/23/92         Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


1’st Ind. NPD 1992       4’th. Ark.NPD 1993

1’st PAW 1993          1’st. Ark. PWC 1994

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