I saw this pumpkin at the grocery store and I had to have it. It called to me. So I bought it and brought it home and stood it on the stoop. I heard myself think, “But I don’t want to carve it. I like it like this.” Then I heard myself think, “There’s a poem there.”

Here it is:


My Pumpkin

I don’t want to carve my pumpkin.
I don’t want to give it a grin.

I like my pumpkin like it is.
I like its smooth orange skin.

I like that it’s a little tall.
I like its hollow thump.

I like its tiny tree-trunk stem.
I like its warty bump.

Of all the pumpkins in the pile,
this one said “Pick me!”

I don’t want to carve my pumpkin.
I want to let it be.


I’m still thinking about the last line. Do kids say “Let it be?” Do they know what it means?

For more Poetry Friday, visit Amy at The Poem Farm.


(c) 2013, Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved

27 replies
  1. Janet F.
    Janet F. says:

    Ah, the song of the pumpkin. I think this poem is sweet and kids would like it. (Though I am guessing most would want to carve it in the end!) I am going to share it with my third graders, the ones I visit! Hope that is ok!

    • lsteinglass
      lsteinglass says:

      Hi Denise,
      Thanks for stopping by. My kids are teasing me because every day when they get home from school there’s a new gourd next to the pumpkin. I’m not sure how long I should keep this going. Shoes I can easily walk by. But gourds? No way. Hmmm….maybe we need some of that colorful corn too!

  2. Bridget Magee
    Bridget Magee says:

    Love, love, love this poem, Liz, and your choice of pumpkin! Since moving to Tucson, we can’t put a pumpkin out on our front porch (whole or carved) as we get midnight marauders, javelinas, who come and eat them!

  3. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
    Amy Ludwig VanDerwater says:

    This poem so has a child’s heart at its center. I am smiling all over. But I would carve it and eat the seeds. Love the seeds! I completely understand that feeling of being “chosen” by an inanimate object too! Happy PF!

  4. Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)
    Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe) says:

    Adorable, Liz! I like the quiet, contemplative tone. Last year the boys carved their first pumpkin and it was rotten the next day! I had to remove the carcass out of sight of little eyes, then explain the disappearance. This year we may go with a pumpkin like Buffy’s. 🙂

  5. Heidi Mordhorst
    Heidi Mordhorst says:

    This is going straight into my classroom, Liz–we have our farm trip early this year, so there will be lots of time to contemplate our pumpkins au naturel before we take them home to carve. There are so many pumpkin/jack o’lantern poems, but this fill a hole (hee hee) in the pumpkin poem parade! Gorgeous.

    • Janet F.
      Janet F. says:

      As I put on Facebook in response to Liz’s poem, I brought this in on Friday to share with third graders at a school I visit regularly. The kids loved the poem. After I read it to them, I projected and asked them what they noticed. We saw the couplets and also the rhyming pattern. The kids talked about their favorite lines and parts. We took a poll about who would want to let their pumpkin “be” and most agreed that they would do the same as Liz for this pumpkin. When I asked them what they would say to Liz (I told them I knew her) they said, “tell her to write more poems”! I give kids a copy of poems so they can illustrate and put them in a binder. So thanks to Liz for giving me permission to share this. We will read it and I bet kids will want to learn to say it. I agree with Heidi, this is a great one to add for Halloween! A different perspective and POV, too!! But the best part was when I told them that Liz writes sport poems! Well they were definitely into wanting to see some of those. Thanks, Liz! Keep writing!! You have some fans.


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