Thursday, March 22, 2018

Notes for the Babysitter

It is a little ironic that one thing a babysitter should not do is sit on a baby.
~Demetri Martin

I've been getting ready for Poetry in the Halls again. Somehow all those poems and all that thinking inspired today's poem.

by Tabatha Yeatts

Dear Babysitter,

While I'm out, please look after
this baby poem. I'll only be in the other room
watching tv, but I'm hoping she does some
growing in my absence

Keep her away from knives
and don't let her stick her fingers in the sockets
even if she gets on your nerves
repeating herself over and over,
nagging you to pay attention,
and not having anything to say

Play with her --
she likes nursery rhymes,
songs of all kinds,
and try to feed her --
anything is fine,
she may not have teeth
but she manages to chew

Call me if she does anything

If she won't stop crying,
for instance,
because I'm gone

I've been gone before and she has never
even seemed to notice,
so if she misses me,
I'll come running back.


Writing the World for Kids has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!


Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

I feel such a connection this poem, Tabatha - I have so many baby poems tucked asleep, and NONE of them seem to miss me! But I'll be ready to take care of them if they hiccup or stir.

Diane Mayr said...

Love this poem about a poem, Tabatha! Great voice!

Linda B said...

I wondered why I've kept hearing some crying once in a while, and now you've let us in on the secret, Tabatha, it's all those baby poems that don't seem to do any growing! I do love this, the motherly voice coming through perfectly. Thanks!

Molly Hogan said...

This is wonderful, Tabatha. Such a creative take on writing poetry. I kept trying to pick a favorite part and I just can't. What a delight!

Kimberly Hutmacher said...

Love this poem! Thank you for sharing it.

laurasalas said...

Oh, Tabatha--this is fabulous! One of my very favorites of yours, I think.

Irene Latham said...

Now there's a fresh angle -- I love it! I'm trying to imagine what this poem-sitter might look like... an otter, a hawk, an oak tree? Love it! Also it reminds me of Shel Silverstein's "The Sitter" which is only 4 lines but lives in my memory from my dad reading it to me as a child -- and I often share it at school visits. :) xo

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

Now Irene has me imagining the poem-sitter, too. What a wonderful poem. I can relate to the wanting it to grow and miss me, too. :-) Somehow our babies aren't ours after a while, they belong to the world.

Doraine said...

Please leave me contact information for your poem sitter. A good one is so hard to find.

jama said...

Love this poem, Tabatha -- such a clever idea -- and so much truth in it.

Margaret Simon said...

Such a clever letter to the poem babysitter. Some poems need to be left alone to grow, some need more loving care, and frankly, some need to be thrown out with the bath water.

Jane @ said...

HA! Oh, I love this so! I have had this kind of story before, the kind that just won't leave me alone until I write them out! I love them so, but oh my goodness, sometimes I just want my creative brain to turn off for a little bit!! ;-)

Alice Nine said...

So clever. I have baby poems and baby slices ... some I fear don't have what they need to grow. Favorite lines: "nagging you to pay attention, /
and not having anything to say."

Catherine Flynn said...

Tabatha, your poem is so witty and clever! We all hope our baby poems do "some growing in [our] absence!" Thanking for bringing a smile to my face tonight!

Kay said...

I love this baby poem! And your beginning quote made me think of Stephen King's memoir ON WRITING, where he describes a babysitter who indeed sit on him. I guess he was a bit older than a baby, though.

Linda Mitchell said...

You are brilliant. A poem is SUCH a baby.....and we really do tend them. I’m keeping this poem handy for when I’m too too you know....mother hen-ish. Can I get the number of your sitter?

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

How sweet and original, Tabatha! Love it! I have more of a problem with the toddler poems, though— they just keep running away!

Michelle Kogan said...

Wonderful Tabatha, how playful yet telling of a poem in process, thanks!