Song and Dance















Song and Dance

Dear Miss,
she seems to say
with her gentle mews.
Dear Miss,
she croons,
as she slips through my legs,
skimming my ankles
with her silken fur.
Dear Miss,
she mews again,
I’ll happily sing and dance
for just a small turn
of the doorknob.


This is our beautiful cat, Scout. I don’t really think the name suits her, but we named her after the character in To Kill a Mockingbird before she joined our family. She’s an indoor cat, but she thinks she wants to be a hunter. We love imagining what Scout might say if she could talk. Here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it: Write a poem from an animal’s point of view. What would your pet (or some other animal) say if s/he could speak? And, how would s/he say it?

For more Poetry Friday, visit Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved












Dear Officer,
I apologize.
I know I was going slow.
I was stunned
by the morning sun
shining a perfect spotlight
on the small maple
in the clearing,
so proud in her
new red dress.
Then I caught a glimpse
of the red cap
on a woodpecker’s head
as he flew by
on undulating waves.
I followed his path
to the fallen pine
along the stream.
I’m sorry.
I didn’t mean
to cause an accident.
I just wanted to slow down
enough to see.
I know you’re in a hurry
to check my registration and insurance,
but now that you’re here,
if you look over there,
along that first thick branch
of the accommodating oak
you can see the woodpecker
listening for larvae
under the bark.


No, I didn’t really get a ticket. But I imagine I will.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved.

Rest in Peace, My Guinea Pig













Rest in Peace, My Guinea Pig

She didn’t squeak hello when I came in the room.
She didn’t twitch her nose at my carrot.
Her small furry body didn’t rise or fall.
She didn’t hear me when I whispered good-bye.


Last week Mortimer visited me. This week he’s visiting Ruth at There is no such place as a God-forsaken town. Next week he’ll visit Cynthia Grady at this is just to say.

For more Poetry Friday visit Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids.









(c) Elizabeth and Naomi Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved

Two Original Limericks










There once was a girl who loved trees.
She swung from their limbs with great ease.
When asked to come in,
The girl made a grin,
Then hung upside down by her knees.


My mother once gave me a date.
I snuck the old yuck off my plate.
My mother found out
When she saw the dog’s snout
In a strangely gelatinous state.


Earlier in the summer Michelle Barnes asked me if I’d be willing to send her a poem for Limerick Alley. I was so honored and inspired by her request that I wrote and sent three. She posted one earlier this week with a fabulous illustration by her daughter. Above are the two others written for Michelle.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Renee at No Water River.

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved















Every night my lizard slithers
Down from his plastic tree.
He crawls in his log and rests
His head and goes to bed like me.

(c) 2013, Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved


This week my favorite book of children’s poetry is Surprises, an early reader, poetry anthology edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins. The poems included are perfect examples of the kind of children’s poems I love. The subject matter is kid-friendly and kid-interesting. The language is simple and easy to understand, while also being rhythmic, rhyming and surprising. Only some of the poems are funny, but they all have a punch-line that makes you laugh or sigh or tilt your head to reconsider something from a different angle. I also love that the book is small, easy to hold, easy to afford, and easy to read and reread.

The first poem in the collection is “Plans,” a poem about a child’s someday cats by Maxine Kumin. What really struck me about this poem was the enjambment. Yes, the enjambment. It’s a four-line poem and at the end of each line the content just keeps going, giving the poem a lovely flow and momentum. The enjambment also provides a refreshing contrast to the many children’s poems that have end stops at the end of every line.

After reading and rereading Surprises and “Plans” all week, I gave myself an assignment—to write a kid-friendly, original animal poem using enjambment. Thus the poem above.

For more Poetry Friday, visit MsMac at Check It Out.