the little pumpkin who never saw the rain//give them a chance to catch a cold//please

just finished this one..

just finished this one..


parent-teacher-conference, mr. lawyer
& his blond wife, both

holding a long monologue (while the rest of us
spins thumbs&sighs) to tell the teacher
what he’s doing wrong with their pumpkin son
cause this last test– chinese scarecrow script,
the rating was just//unjust
not that their son did really bad & if mr. teacher
is not willing to re-think his way of judging him,
it may have legal consequences–

at home, junior calls them assholes (it’s not meant that way,
difficult development process– hormones, it’s not his fault,
(sure you understand), he refuses to cycle the 10 minutes
to his school if it rains or if the breeze blows
from a thirtyTwo degree angle (chances are,
it happens) — then tousles his
perfect to the point styled haircut (&he might get lung-sick,
knuckles roughen from the cold wind,
he can’t concentrate on his math test any more,
(really// we have to understand this)

and my daughter, if i refuse to buy that
fancy pumpkin brand jeans, all her friends will mock her,
laugh loud with big teeth, picking her eyes out

we don’t need this new part for the car so urgently,
i can take the bus to my three different cleaning jobs,
it’s just about an hour or so & in the evenings i’m too tired anyway
to tell her why she shouldn’t call me bitch

the fields have changed their face, pumped up,
giant baby pumpkins sucking life sap from
what crumples next to them, it’s not their fault,
torn designer clothes litter the space, dark&healthy
bread (yeah, cake tastes better) rotting
on the patch edge & a red-eyed mom
tells me that her daughter after breaking off school,
needs a one to three year find-myself-trip overseas
(with the money someone else
earned) and i stretch out on the ground, flat–

dig my hands deep in the soil, feel for roots
(so weak– a million insects with big claws
and dollar signs in black eyes clinGing to them,
belly fattened, cheeks chock-full & thicK with substance
they extract with giant stings)
“no” i whisper// SHOUT, wild gaze// earth crumbs in my mouth
“NNNNOOOO, you don’t protect, you’re killing them!!!!”

but no one’s listening


Bri has us write pumpkin textured (it is autumn after all..smiles) poems at dVerse today… write about what you’re passionate… pumpkin it up and join us at 3pm EST when we open the pub doors..


40 responses to “the little pumpkin who never saw the rain//give them a chance to catch a cold//please

  1. dang. now that is a mouthful of social commentary right there…who is in charge and making the decisions at home…whose responsibility is it…the grades…surely its the teachers fault…and no one ever owns up so we end up with this big mess…smiles….we have gone way off the mark in accepting personally responsibility and not feeling the need to cater to our kids whims….thus teaching them responsibility as well…

  2. Ha, so it seems that things are different nowadays & young people ‘call too many of the shots?’ Seems like that sometimes…and parents are willing to defend their children no matter what they say or do. So much underneath the ‘pumpkins’ in this poem, Claudia!

  3. I would love to scold those parents and bring them to a parenthood college, yes there should be one, you know ~ We can’t bring up children who think they can call us assholes & buy/get whatever they want ~ Great piece Claudia ~

    • Oh dear, I sigh. Fings ain’t wot they used to be. Why isn’t parenthood a core curriculum subject? When I was teaching in Seychelles there were two periods a week on FAMILY LIFE, which did seem to keep things stable for the most part. Uniform (yes, in the Polytechnic, 18-21-year-olds) put paid to that must-have designer clothes syndrome.

  4. Some parents are doing their kids such a disservice when they think they are helping them. I hate to see what it’s going to be like 20 yrs from now when they are running things!

  5. That painting is an entire journey–I like it a lot. And I see it is a world without the pumpkins of which you speak, spoiled and spoiling for whatever they can get–it’s a new type of success–whatever you can get away with and surely everything will just bounce back like in all those cartoons their parents were raised on. It truly is not their fault, but it is someone’s responsibility to fix it. Rather thorough and scarey.

  6. Recent research suggest that being ‘hard’ on a child during the learning process is far more beneficial than the soft glove approach so popular now days…a good poem to that point.

  7. Well, you certainly let that inner pumpkin out and let your voice be is a changing society and maybe, we need to plant a few new seeds…

  8. Spoiled kids…and protective parents grew so big… little teacher on their background looks so rightless… ,and what is in your nice pic lower left corner – the hive?… I vote for Teacher with capital T….

  9. Great social commentary from the pumpkin patch. I like the reference to designer clothes – over here we even have a brand for little ones called “Pumpkin Patch” (not sure how international it is).

  10. A pumpkin patch so full of present day failings of parents and youth. Parents failed to line up good naturedness when young. Youths failed to adequately respond in a matured way later. Brilliant observation Claudia and beautiful sketch.


  11. This is definitely different from all the other poems I have read on the same topic. And just as beautiful. I love pumpkins so I am over the moon with Brian introducing the subject. Great lines in this poem. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  12. It’s okay to have a child-centered home, but sometimes this gets ridiculous. You captured that switch in leadership from parent to child so well. By the way, I love your painting. it’s amazing how YOU come through in all your art.

  13. Well, Claudia, you were in full pumpkin mode for this one, and when social satire & commentary can be wrapped in pumpkiness, it can bite us in the butt & still make us smile. Parents will struggle with children ad infinitum; my own felt that the 60’s ruined a whole generation of us. I did not condone or get the Tattoos, piercing, rainbow hair dying, Goth, & Slut looks I had to endure raising 3 daughters–but the pay-off is now we have 5 grandchildren and wonderful son-in-laws; got me talking, lady.

  14. Wow. Amazing, isn’t it, how so many foist responsibility for their little pumpkins off on others and then wonder why the kids have no respect for them (or sense of responsibility themselves). Tho it’s sad when it’s the single mother with three jobs who gets dissed all the time.That is the “unkindest cut of all.” Once upon a time, I thought I was the only mom in town who ever said “No!” Now she’s in grad school.

  15. Brilliant! I took so much out of this and it works on lots of different levels, great to read someone with the courage “to point out that which we shall not speak of”
    Thanks for sharing and causing outbreaks of wry smiles like knowing pumpkins, Kevin