So I signed up to be in this crazy poetry madness event where children’s poets are randomly seeded (kinda like basketball tournaments) and are randomly assigned words with a difficulty of 1 (easy) to 16 (ouch!) and have to write a poem appropriate for kids. Then we’re randomly matched up in a head-to-head tournament. We have a short time to write the poems and then readers vote and the winners of the match-ups go on to the next round.

I’d love the chance to continue but I have to win this round. I had the good/unfortunate luck of being seeded 16 which gives me the impossible words. I got nonconfrontational for the first round.

Anyway, they’re short, 8 lines or less, and I’m begging for folks to go read, at least my match-up, and vote for the ones they like best.

Of course I hope you’ll like mine enough to vote for me. 🙂


At 13, I Walk on Eggshells
by Susan Taylor Brown

More than the way your hands paint bruises the world can’t see
I fear your words, and the way they tattoo themselves in my brain
creating a chorus of put-downs that play in an endless loop,
reminding me of all I am not, in your eyes.

Your words are my only gift from you and I carry them close,
like the most precious of jewels. I can’t help myself.

In this house, nonconfrontational
is just another word for survival.