today, if you don’t mind


she was petite
strong, wiry,
running nearly
before she walked.

Can I ride
those bumper cars?
How ’bout that bike
or figure skate
go on that
roller coaster?
No, dear.
Might get hurt.

she loved all food
sweet, spicy
eating whatever
she could find.

Can I have
that quesadilla?
Maybe that
piece of cake
corn dog
No, dear.
So unhealthy.

she’s always read,
even before
words meant anything
books were friends.

Can I go
to the book bus
book fair
author’s reading
book club?
No, dear.
Ideas are suspect.

she’s always loved
music and dance.

Can I sing
in the chorus
join the dance
find a
theater group?
No, dear.
The arts bend propriety.

she’s adored her Mam
since birth
playing, laughing, on
the go–together.

Can I go
to the movies,
get ice cream
with Mam?
Be back early–promise.
No, dear.
Much too eccentric.

she came of age.
No longer
thwarted by

I’m going
to the State Fair
I’ll eat corn dogs
ride the
roller coaster,
a matinee
and ice cream
with Mam
before going
dancing with

today, if you don’t mind.

© Julia Penner-Zook, 2015


10 thoughts on “today, if you don’t mind

  1. Wow! Julia…you brought back some strong memories for me…especially the ‘book bus!” I can remember how excited to be around a treasure trove of new books…and how I wanted to buy every single one of them!!! Some things never change!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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