Parent Poems

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Sample Parent Poems

 Parent Poem Instructions: Find a picture of one of your parents when he/she was close to your age or a
                  picture of your parent before he/she became a parent.  Write a poem about the young person you
                  see in  that picture.  What were your parent's hopes? dreams?  struggles?  Try to write at least three
                  stanzas or 12 lines about your parent in the "before kids" stage.  In the  last stanza or last 4 lines, 
                  connect yourself to you parent in the poem.  Click here  for some sample "parent poems" my
                  students have written in past school years.

Student Exemplars

"Only Thirty Years More"

"A Piece of My Past"

Professional Poet's Exemplar

"My Father in His Twenty-Second Year"

 

"Only Thirty Years More"

Devin found a picture of his mother and aunt  playing as children and decided to use it in writing this poem.  The picture is a special one as Devin’s mom died 4 years ago. 

Two girls, two dolls
Two lives left to unfold  
This way that way  
Their futures still untold

Innocence here  
Complications there  
No children, just dolls  
No lover, just each other

Doctor, teacher  
Aunt, mother  
Decorator of interiors  
This yet is to be said for sure.

Thirty years left  
Or is it eighty years to go?  
Only time will tell such things.

One child born  
And maybe one child more.  
Only fate will show a wedding ring.

Time has come  
And also told  
For the one of you, my mother  
Only thirty years more did unfold

A husband sighs  
A daughter cries  
A son wipes his eyes  
As three different teardrops fade

This photo’s dyes.

"A Piece of the Past"

While getting ready to write this parent poem, Mandy found a picture of her dad as a senior in high school, right  before he became a father at 18 years of age.  When she wrote this poem as a senior herself, Mandy hadn’t seen her dad in 15 years.

 

A journey comes to mind  
When I look at his face.  
It’s a journey of life,  
A never-ending race.

A loss comes to mind  
When I look into his eyes.  
The loss of a daddy  
As a result of compromise.

Your boyish physique  
Though not very tall.  
I once sat on that knee  
And you gave me a doll.

There’s a great similarity  
In both of our noses.  
How can I forget  
You bought my first roses!

It’s been so many years  
Since I’ve seen you last.  
Yet you will always be  
A piece of my past.  

Photograph of My Father in His Twenty-Second Year 

 

October . 
Here in this dank, unfamiliar kitchen 
I study my father's embarrassed young man's face. 
Sheepish grin, he holds in one hand a string of spiny yellow perch, 
in the other a bottle of Carlsbad beer. 
In jeans and denim shirt, 
he leans against the front fender of a 1934 Ford.
He would like to pose bluff and hearty for his posterity, 
wear his old hat cocked over his ear. All his life my father wanted to be bold. 
But the eyes give him away, and the hands that limply 
offer the string of dead perch and the bottle of beer. 

Father, I love you, yet how can I say thank you, 
I who can't hold my liquor either, and don't even 
know the places to fish?                    

                                                     -- Raymond Carver

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