poetry · Writing

Tell Me Something Good

A friend said, “Write a poem,” to help me start writing again.


So I pulled up a poem that had been sitting in my draft folder and tried to finish it. It’s not perfect but Brené Brown says that we should have the courage to be imperfect. With a little courage, I give you this —

“Tell me something good,” she said
“Please tell me something cheery.”
The corners of her mouth turned down;
Her eyes were slightly teary.
Teenage girling is the worst —
Well, that’s my working theory.

My mind returned to dark things thought
When I was still a teen
Of feeling that I just don’t fit
Of watching pretties preen
Of wishing I were different
Of people being mean

She said, “Tell me a good story —
A princess-dragon tale
With a female superhero
Who tries so hard and fails
Then with grit and perseverance
She finally prevails.”

I remembered watching her go out
And our lawn just lie
Watching jet trails drawing lines
Across a summer sky;
I imagined an adventure
Where she’s a secret spy

Who, by studying that one small thing —
The white smoke on the blue —
She deciphered secret messages
Most people wouldn’t view
Because they’re too busy doing stuff —
Do I do that? Do you?

The world is sometimes cold and cruel
And difficult to beat
But through stories we see bravery,
Learn ways we can defeat
The demon dogs who hound us
And the challenges we meet

“Tell me something good,” she said.
I thought, and then replied,
“Let’s look at something little —
Autumn leaves or dragonflies —
Let’s find the beauty, make a story.”
And so we walked outside.

14 thoughts on “Tell Me Something Good

  1. Well you may roll your eyes at your poetry, but I love this one 🙂 .

    So the “skywriting” of airplanes is something I imagined years ago, except it was messages sent by a winged horse of “mine,” Prancer son of Pegasus. I love that I’m not the only one who saw it as writing.

    1. Thanks, Loren.

      I think my problem is that I wish I wrote like T. S. Eliot or ee cummings, when my poetry is more like a blend of Robert W Service and Dr. Seuss. Whoever said “Comparison is the thief of joy” spoke truth.

  2. That speaks eloquently of what it is to be an adolescent girl. I was one and I raised four and I recognize so much of the angst and the itching to be anywhere but now. Yours is a lovely voice. Rejoice.

    1. Thanks, Osyth. As much I hated my own teenage years, I never want to forget how it felt. I think it helps me in parenting my own daughters.

  3. There are no wolverines or zombies in this poem! A mention of these two things always makes prose or poetry immediately more interesting. And even as a boy I can relate to this!

    1. For boys, the last stanza would read,

      “Tell me something good,” he said
      I thought, and then replied,
      “Let’s go find something terrifying
      — a wolverine zombified.
      We can poke it with a stick.”
      And so we walked outside.

Comments are closed.