Jasper Lynn joins in the A to Z fun during April. Today our post celebrates the letter P.
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THE POET DIDN’T KNOW IT
“My daughter, June, go clean your room!” Dad sang his request as he entered the kitchen.
“Dad! Please!” June moaned. She was busy nibbling potato chips.
“See, I’m a poet…and didn’t know it,” he replied. His smiling face showed that he was proud of himself.
June’s scowling face wasn’t near as pleased looking. Snacking was a lot more fun than weekend chores. She pushed her chair back and stomped out, headed towards her bedroom.
“Put the chips up first,” her father hollered to her retreating back.
She wheeled around and clomped back. Rolling up the top of the bag, she threw the bag on the pantry shelf and headed for the doorway again.
Dad stood at the sink, drinking a glass of water. “Go on now, get. But, don’t get in a snit.”
“Arghhh!” The disgusted groan that June uttered made it clear how she felt about her dad’s humor.
Later that afternoon, Tammy, her best friend, joined June in her now-clean bedroom. The girls sat on the bed, playing a card game as June complained about her dad. “He thinks he’s being clever, but it’s so annoying.”
“Hey, at least he’s fun and jokes around,” Tammy replied.
“Maybe fun if you don’t have to live with it.”
“Your dad’s cool. My dad’s like a stick in the mud. He doesn’t have a funny bone in his whole body.” Tammy looked at the cards in her hand. “Do you have a four?”
“Go fish,” June answered. Then she drew a card and triumphantly laid down a pair. “A pair of eights. I win!”
“Let’s go outside. I’m bored.”
“You’re only bored because you lost.”
“Not true,” Tammy protested.
“Is too,” June argued back. “Let’s play hopscotch out front.”
While the girls were out marking the squares with brightly colored chalk, June looked up and saw her neighbor, sitting on the front porch by herself. “Sarah, come play hopscotch with us.”
“No thanks,” she answered.
“It’ll be fun.”
“Not today. I don’t feel like playing.” Sarah stood and went inside.
Tammy wrote the last number and stood up. “She looked sad.”
“She is. Her dad just died. He was in a big accident on the freeway on his way home from work last week,” June explained.
“So…I guess she’d be really happy to have her dad here. Even if he was a goofy sort that made up silly rhymes all the time?”
June stood still and stared at her friend. Neither one said anything for a few minutes. She finally said, “You’re right. I know she’d do anything to just have her dad again.”
June’s mom called out through the window. “Tammy, your mom called and said you need to go home.”
June spent the rest of the afternoon thinking.
After her bath that night, Dad came in to tuck her in. “Good night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” he sang.
“Good night, dear Dad. I’m sorry I was mad,” June sang back. “I want you to know, I love you so!”
The grin on her father’s face and the tight hug he gave her made everything all right in the world again.
The Poet Didn’t Know It is a story from This and That Too, scheduled for release May 2020