Showdown at the O.K. Corral
by Hope Anita Smith
When Daddy left,
our house was empty,
too big for the rest of us.
We couldn’t fill up all the space.
Now that he’s back,
I can’t find a place to fit.
There isn’t enough room for me.
Daddy looks the same,
but something’s different.
He takes up too much space.
He’s in my space.
His eyes are constantly
waving the white flag of surrender,
but I am like a gunfighter in the Old West.
I walk around with my words drawn,
ready to fire.
Because this house isn’t big enough
for the two of us.
From: Smith, Hope Anita. 2008. Keeping the Night Watch. New York: Henry Holt, p. 13.
Smith is the recipient of the 2008 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award and her first book garnered several recognitions, including:
- NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts, 2008
- Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, 2008
- Bank Street Claudia Lewis Award, 2008
- Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library, 2008
- Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book, 2008
This new work is sure to be just as successful.And here are some more books for young people with poems about fathers and father figures:
Appelt, Kathi. 2004. My Father’s Summers: A Daughter’s Memoirs. New York: Henry
Fletcher, Ralph J. 1999. Relatively Speaking: Poems about Family. New York: Orchard.
Grimes, Nikki. 1999. Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Grimes, Nikki. 1999. My Man Blue: Poems. New York: Dial Books.
Grimes, Nikki. 2002. When Daddy Prays. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 1991. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems. Boston: Joy Street Books.
Livingston, Myra Cohn, comp. 1989. Poems for Fathers. New York: Holiday House.
Moss, Jeff. 1997. The Dad of the Dad of the Dad of Your Dad. New York: Ballantine.
Sidman, Joyce. 2000. Just Us Two: Poems about Animal Dads. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press.
Steptoe, Javaka, comp. 1997. In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers. New York: Lee & Low Books.
For more Poetry Friday gems go to Cloudscome at A Wrung Sponge.
Picture credit: hbpub.vo.llnwd.net/.../