Celebrating the Fourth of July
How many, how many happy things
I celebrate on the Fourth of July:
Daddy and I on the backyard swings
Pretend we’re sailing to the sky.
Mama’s stirring lemonade,
Grandpa’s setting up the grill.
Picnic tables in the shade —
It’s too exciting; I can’t sit still.
Swing high, on the Fourth of July,
Soaring on the summer air,
Down and back up to the sky,
Free to swing as high as I dare.
How many, how many colorful sights
March in the parade for the Fourth of July!
The brightest blues and reds and whites
Glitter as all the floats pass by.
It looks like everyone had fun
Choosing special clothes to wear
To celebrate out in the sun.
And flags are flying everywhere.
Fly high, on the Fourth of July!
Shining, red, white and blue,
Proudly wave in the summer sky
Free to fly for all to view.
So many, so many happy things
I celebrate on the Fourth of July.
I’m alive, and I’m free and my glad heart sings
And I want to shout my thanks to the sky.
Waiting, waiting for it to get dark
Searching for stars in the long twilight
Stretched out on a blanket in the park
Finally, finally, now it is night.
Soar high on the Fourth of July!
Into the darkness the sky rockets soar,
Bursting in glory across the sky,
Telling the story of freedom once more.
Oh the sights and the sounds of a summer night!
When the long, hot day finally gives up its light.
And the star-bright sky seems close enough to touch.
Is there any other time that I love this much?
Somewhere in the dark, high above the trees,
A hoot owl flies on nights like these.
And the chirp of the katydids hiding in the lawn
Will sing me to sleep until the dawn.
I wish I could stay outside all night,
With the sky for my cover and the stars for my light.
But I think of my room and my cool, fresh bed
And I know that I’ll sleep inside, instead.
With a flashlight helping us to see,
Daddy walks up to the house with me,
Where the moths crowd around the back porch light.
It’s time for all sleepy things to say, “Good night.”
(from Bedtime Read-Aloud, Read-Along Rhymes: Quiet Poems for the End of the Day)
Oh, a walking stick and a lunch in my pack
And a summer morn on a mountain track.
Or a ball and a bat and and summer day
And a wide, green field and a game to play.
Or a swimming pool in the glorious sun
On a summer afternoon of fun.
Then a backyard meal on a summer eve
When the shadows fall as the guests all leave.
Or a lightning show, turning dark clouds bright,
Sends us all indoors on a summer night.
For a dish of fresh, home-made ice cream
Then a bedtime story and a summer dream.
Previously unpublished work copyright 2013 by Susan Call Hutchison
Mother’s Day Memories:
Do you remember this time we went
Camping and all the time we spent
Finding a spot to put up each tent
Next to the shade of a tree?
It was Mother’s Day, 1989.
In southern Utah, the weather was fine.
I can’t remember. Did anyone whine?
No, you made it special for me!
With the stove Daddy set up, our meals could be hot.
We ate oatmeal for breakfast, like it or not.
And that was the Mother’s Day present I got!
I was happy as I could be.
After 24 years, I remember the way
We laughed as I watched you climb and play
On the rocks at Arches that Mother’s Day
And the memory is precious to me.
My Lucky Leprechaun
I dreamed I heard a leprechaun
Just before I woke
The morning of Saint Patrick’s Day
And this is what he spoke:
“I’m from the hills of Ireland,
A magic land of green
Where shamrocks grow on river banks
And rainbows can be seen.
‘Tis said at every rainbow’s end
There lies a pot of gold,
But it’s always in the distance,
Something you can never hold.
“Unless you know a leprechaun!
And then, he’ll let you keep
The pot of gold to dream with
Every time you fall asleep.
“So on this fair Saint Patrick’s Day
Remember, and take heart.
For now you know a leprechaun
And your good luck will start!”
I woke and sat up straight in bed.
And through my windowpane
I saw a shining rainbow through
A sparkling morning rain.
Far out in the distance
I could see the rainbow’s end.
And I’ve never lost that golden dream
Or the leprechaun, my friend!
One bright and windy Saturday, my Daddy said, “You know,
“I used to really like it when a wind like this would blow.”
He smiled and said, “Come with me. We’re going to the store.”
I ran and put my jacket on and we were out the door!
Daddy knew exactly what he wanted and he got
Two kits of paper, sticks and string. And that was all we bought.
We hurried home and laid them out on our big kitchen floor,
And we made us each a fancy kite! And took them out the door.
The wind was tugging playfully – my kite was hard to hold.
And Daddy joked, “Hold on there, kites, and do what you are told!
“We’re going to an open park where there won’t be any trees
“And then you can play with the wind as roughly as you please.”
At the park, my Daddy laughed, “I’m not the only one
“Who thought of flying kites today!” And every one had fun.
The kites flew high and higher as we I let out all our string.
A dozen kites were dancing and it made me want to sing.
As we reeled the string back in we felt the wind’s strong tug.
And afterwards I thanked my Dad and he gave me a hug.
I always will remember that bright and windy day
When Daddy took me flying kites and all we did was play!
Last fall when it was getting cold
The ground hog crawled into his hole
To sleep all through the Wintertime
And wake up to the Spring’s sunshine.
But stories say that every year
When February 2 is here
The groundhog wakes and comes outside
Curious about what the weather is like.
The story goes that just the sight
Of his shadow gives him such a fright
That back he goes for six weeks more
Of Winter sleep and groundhog snore.
But if it is a cloudy day,
He bravely comes a little way
Outside, and seeing all is clear
Begins an early Spring that year.
I don’t think that a groundhog can
Really change the weather’s plan,
But curious creatures—like groundhogs and me
Just wish we could know when Springtime will be!
No Matter What the Groundhog Saw
No matter what the groundhog saw,
Winter ends today.
I saw it on my calendar.
Let’s make a holiday!
We’ll take a day just to be glad
The air is getting warm
And grass is green and flowers bloom,
And sunshine follows storm.
I think I’ll paint a rainbow
And a tree where robins sing.
No matter what the groundhog saw,
Tomorrow will be Spring!
Martin Luther King Day
DREAM OF A PROMISED LAND
“I have a dream,” said Dr. King,
A dream that one day all
God’s children everywhere
(The grown ones and the small)
Will walk in peace and tolerance
Together hand in hand
Judged only by their character.
He dreamed this Promised Land.
“I have a dream,” said Dr. King.
That one day when we sing
Of a sweet land of liberty,
That freedom’s sound will ring
From every hill and mountainside
With a meaning that is new
A symphony of brotherhood;
In a Land of Promise true.
He did not live to see his dream.
It was not shared by all.
But hatred cannot murder Faith.
And we must now stand tall,
Taught to be brave by this brave man,
And honor Dr. King
By speaking up for truth and right,
Inspired by his dream
And work to bring about the time
When all can understand:
The content of our character
Creates the Promised Land.
Mrs. Santa’s Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas and in the Claus House,
We were all stirring. Even the mouse.
Children’s stockings all over the world had been hung
Because this was the night Santa would come.
As children were nestling, each snug in his bed,
My husband was wrestling to pack up his sled.
I worked in my kitchen, fixing a snack
For the reindeer and Santa to eat while he packed.
When out in the snow there arose such a clatter
I sprang out the door to see what was the matter
Away from the kitchen I flew like a flash
Out towards the sleigh and the sound of the crash.
The light of the moon on the North Pole snow
Made it easy to see what I wanted to know.
The cause of the clatter and crash became clear:
A sleighful of toys had dumped on the reindeer.
Santa was trying to be lively and quick
But I knew in a moment I must help Saint Nick.
Together we lifted the sleigh and we strained
As we whistled, and shouted and called out each name:
Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen!
Come, Comet, and Cupid, and Donner and Blitzen
Out from under the sled! We won’t let it fall,
Now get out of there, out of there, Rudolf and all!
As we lifted the sleigh full of toys off the snow,
All the reindeer dashed out from the scramble below.
So out from the snow bank, the reindeer they flew.
And Santa and I let down the sleigh with a “Whew!”
And then, in a twinkling, I heard a “Hooray!”
The reindeer were safe, and we still had a sleigh.
As I let out a sigh, and was turning around,
Down fell the toys again to the ground.
Santa just laughed, and went straight to work
Packing toys on the sleigh, straightening it up with a jerk.
His eyes, how they twinkled! He knew that the toys
Had to get to the stockings of good girls and boys.
And out of his mouth came a Christmas Song.
So I joined in the packing, and sang along.
With a twist of a rope and a nod of his head,
He made sure that the toys were secure on the sled.
And laying a sweet Christmas kiss on my cheek,
He called for his team. There was no need to speak.
We harnessed the reindeer up to the sleigh.
And in the Christmas Eve moonlight, they all flew away.
The team would be traveling all night to each house.
I was glad I was staying right here with the mouse.
But Santa exclaimed, as he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas, my dear! I’ll be home Christmas night.
To Read the Poem, "I Will NOT Go to Bed!" visit the description of Bedtime Read-Aloud, Read-Along Rhymes: Quiet Poems for the End of the Day.
copyright 2012 Susan Call Hutchisonby