Category Archives: Poems

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…UPDATED

Twelve Days of Christmas…2013 version

On the first day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me…

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the second day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the third day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the fourth day of Christmas

My true love gave to me,

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the fifth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the sixth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the seventh day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the eighth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the ninth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Nine bacon-weenies,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the tenth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

TEN Alka-Seltzers!

Nine bacon-weenies,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Eleven minty Rolaids,

TEN Alka-Seltzers!

Nine bacon-weenies,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me…

Twelve Pepto-Bismals,

Eleven minty Rolaids,

TEN Alka-Seltzers!

Nine bacon-weenies,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the thirteenth day of Christmas….

I had my stomach pumped.

 

– Sandra Lee Smith

AT THE KITCHEN TABLE

AT THE KITCHEN TABLE

At the kitchen table

We did our homework

While my mother stood at the ironing board

Ironing our dresses, shirts, pants, blouses, and skirts.

At the kitchen table

We listened to the Crosley radio

On top of the refrigerator

While the Lone Ranger, Amos & Andy,

Our Miss Brooks and many others

Filled our minds with images.

At the kitchen table

I learned all my times tables,

And how to type on a standard Underwood typewriter

Using two fingers,

Until I got in high school

And learned to type

Using all ten fingers.

At the kitchen table

We created homemade Christmas ornaments

Out of walnut shells and the caps to milk bottles.

At the kitchen table

We had dinner every night

At 6 O clock sharp

My mother on the left end of the table and my father

On the right.

I sat at my mother’s right,

On the end of the left side of the table

Because I was left handed.

My brothers sat across from me

And Billy spilled his milk

Until we were all forbidden to have any milk

Until after dinner.

At the kitchen table

 We said grace

And prayed for the soldiers in Korea

And my brother at St Francis Seminary

Where he only lasted a year -

But the prayers continued nonetheless

Because once started,

My father couldn’t stop.

We said Our Fathers

And Hail Marys

And Glory Be’s

Until our dinner was almost cold.

At the kitchen table

We were first and foremost

A family

Even though

Sometimes I didn’t like the entrée

And sat

At the kitchen table

For hours

Staring at cold unappetizing hasenpheffer

Or mom’s slimy boiled cabbage

Or whatever it was

That I didn’t like.

It was also

At the kitchen table

That my brothers Biff & Bill

Started a fire which burned a hole

In the oilcloth tablecloth

Until someone put out the fire.

It was at the kitchen table

That my parents

And their friends

Played cards

And ate bowls of chili

And drank cups of coffee.

It was at the kitchen table

Where there was a meeting

Of the minds.

And sometimes

Not.

Sandra Lee Smith

Originally posted MAY 16 2009

 

 

MAMA’S MAKING SOUP TODAY

MAMA’S MAKING SOUP TODAY

At breakfast mama tells us all

She’s making soup today,

And we all know just what that means,

We’d better stay out of her way.

 

‘Cause when my mama’s making soup

She makes a great big pot.

And some of it gets canned in jars

Because there’s such a lot.

 

From the garden come the carrots,

String beans and tomatoes,

From the cellar, pa brings out

A bushel of potatoes.

 

From the hen house mama takes

A hen that isn’t laying,

And as she wrings the chicken’s neck

She tells it to start praying.

 

From her herb garden by the door,

She takes parsley and some onions,

Checking stems so carefully,

She only wants the young ones.

 

She tells me to fetch water from

The well, and fill the pot,

And I ask Pa to help me out,

Because it weighs a lot.

 

Mama puts her apron on, and

Sharpens up her butcher knife,

When mama gets that soup look on,

You’d best run for your own life.

 

She’s peeling carrots, chopping beans,

And crushing up tomatoes,

And all the while she’s peeling and

Chopping up potatoes;

 

She throws the peelings out the door

And all the hens come running,

And gather round to hunt and peck

Where the cats are sunning.

 

Pa goes to fetch the mason jars

Stored down in the cellar,

And brings them up for me to wash,

‘Cause I’m such a cordial fellow.

 

Before long, Mama’s kettle boils

With vegetables and chicken,

And anyone who crosses ma

Is sure to get a licking.

 

The canning jars go into a pot

And mama cooks them, too,

And when the soup has cooked enough,

There’s plenty more to do.

 

Pa and I help mama fill

The jars up to the top,

And get the canner boiling

‘Til the water’s really hot.

 

When the jars have boiled enough

And are lined up on the table,

We all have a bite of soup,

And some bread, if we are able.

 

Into the pantry jars will line

The shelves from left to right

And I’ll be thinking of that soup

Long into the night.

 

–Sandra Lee Smith (FROM MY “AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD” SERIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

T’was a Week Before Christmas

T’WAS A WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS

T’was a week before Christmas

And all through the house

Gift-wrap was littered, it

Even covered a spouse,

Who sat forlorn in his old easy chair,

Wondering if there was

An extra cookie to spare—

For cookies were baked

And filled every tin

But to eat even one

Would be considered a sin—

(Unless it was one that was broken or burned)

Decorations hung everywhere that you turned.

In the guest room, presents were piled everywhere,

And trees were put up, not a moment to spare—

Twinkling lights and ornaments too,

But it will look pretty when we’re all through—

I’ve scorched all my fingers giving candy a test

And thought it was time that I had a good rest;

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,

I dashed to the door to see what was the matter;

Up on a ladder, Grandpa swayed to and fro—

Trying to decide where fake reindeer should go—

I was sure he would fall and smash all the lights;

I shouted come down and we’ll fix it all right!

The dollhouse is back where it belongs

And hundreds of CDs play holiday songs,

Pork Loin’s in the freezer and wood on the fire,

Eggnog in the frig, we hope will inspire

But if not there is brandy, bourbon, and port

To serve every guest who is a good sport;

We’ll work at it all until we fall with a jerk

And let Santa get credit for all our hard work!

–Sandra Lee Smith

In memory of Robert Fend who willingly climbed up on the roof every year to hang lights or  install fake  reindeer. He is still greatly missed by the grandkids and me.

 

­

 

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, 2012 VERSION

On the first day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me…

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the second day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the third day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the fourth day of Christmas

My true love gave to me,

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the fifth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the sixth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the seventh day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the eighth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the ninth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Nine bacon-weenies,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the tenth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

TEN Alka-Seltzers!

Nine bacon-weenies,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me,

Eleven minty Rolaids,

TEN Alka-Seltzers!

Nine bacon-weenies,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me…

Twelve Pepto-Bismals,

Eleven minty Rolaids,

TEN Alka-Seltzers!

Nine bacon-weenies,

Eight Margaritas!

Seven fudge-nut brownies,

Six rum-laced fruitcakes,

Five pumpkin pies!

Four candy canes,

Three baked hens,

Two chocolate Dove bars,

A roasted partridge and a wedge of Brie.

 

On the thirteenth day of Christmas….

I had my stomach pumped.

– Sandra Lee Smith

 

LEFTOVER CAKE

LEFTOVER CAKE

When I was a little girl,
perhaps once or twice a year
my parents would have a party,
sometimes it was a New Years Eve celebration
to which children were not invited;
I’m not sure what we did
to occupy ourselves in our rooms on the second floor,
but what I remember is
the next morning
there were many tumblers
with an inch or two of liquid
at the bottom—but which did not taste very good.
I suspect my brothers may have
poured all the dregs together
to see what they had missed,
but what I remember best
is the remains of a cake
Left laying out on the table
now crusty and dried out–
but cake…was cake….no matter what its condition
so while my parents slept
We polished off the cake.

–Sandra Lee Smith

WHEN MAMA BAKES A CAKE

Sometimes when breakfast dishes have
Been washed and put away,
My mama looks at me and says
“Let’s bake a cake today!”
From a peg she takes her apron
While from a low peg, I take mine,
We tie the strings behind our backs,
And don’t we look just fine?
Mama’s biggest yellow bowl
Stands upon the kitchen table,
And I step up on a little stool,
To help, because I’m able.
Mama cracks some eggs fresh from the barn,
I take a fork and stir them up,
You have to beat those eggs a lot,
Before you can add a cup
Of sugar, butter, flour too,
And soda for the rising,
And Mama grates some nutmeg in,
For a taste that’s right surprising;
It’s my job to butter up the pans
And dust them both with flour,
And then the cakes go into bake,
And that takes ‘near an hour.
While they bake, we tidied up,
And tiptoe cross the floor,
Cause you don’t want those cakes to fall,
And have to make some more.
The kitchen fills with spicy scent,
And I can hardly stand the wait,
It’s always something special, when
My Mama bakes a cake.

–Sandra Lee Smith