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Lately I’ve been challenging myself to reframe the way I see parenting. I’ve been trying to control my kids less and learn more about who they are. Amazing how my giving up some control has actually helped our household find more sanity and harmony.

Anyway, the following poem by Paul Willis, along with a recent local kids’ production of A Christmas Carol (I can’t help it–gets me every time), has helped rekindle my wonder toward my own children.

But before the poem, some of you may remember my posting from a few weeks back about how tough it is to write good joyful poems. Well, right now I’m reading a whole slew of them in Paul Willis’ new book, Rosing From the Dead. It’s an excellent read just out from WordFarm press. Put it on your Christmas list!



What He Can Do

after Elizabeth Holmes


Bounce a flat basketball between his legs

without looking.  Dive through a breaking wave.

Find anything on the Internet in six seconds.


Batter a drum till the walls shake.

Sag his jeans to the lowest

inch possible.  Refuse to sing.


Polish his cymbals until they shine

with his own reflection.  Call out the note

of the vacuum cleaner—a middle C.


Skate off a curb with both hands

deep in his pockets.  Sleep till noon.

Hold a dog the way a dog wants to be held.

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