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The Greatest Show on Earth

Looking out the window didn’t inspire much:
old tire not swinging, and barren trees casting
reluctant shadows over barely-white-snow.

But as she ran out into the backyard,
my daughter saw visions of magic—charms
only she could discover on that hallowed ground.

And I stood in my kitchen that day
entranced,

awed by the beauty of a restless little girl searching—
finding treasures in the world she had created.

Blissfully unaware that magic is just an illusion,
she transformed herself into a princess,
mapped out her kingdom, and invented all sorts
of bizarre creatures over which she would rule.

I had the cumbersome chore of washing dishes,
yet lost myself in the fullness of that moment.

As night’s fog moved in, she returned to the house,
whistling a magical tune—one of the treasures
she found that day in her backyard kingdom.

written for Kellie’s Free-Write Friday prompt based on the cover of her new book

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36 responses »

  1. Love every line. You really capture the magic of youth, something I never really had. I think I was born old. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. o to see through a child’s eyes again

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  3. I feel her and the poem…i have similar memories from when i was young…they will be with her a lifetime!

    Reply
    • Thanks Wendell…I sure hope she remembers “magical” moments like those. She’s a feisty one, and we have to tell her “no” an awful lot….but my hope is that she remembers the beauty and wonderment of childhood more than anything else πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. The final stanza is my favorite—her claiming a whistled song to bring a bit of magic back home with her. This is so sweet. πŸ™‚ I think I know the day of which you speak, if you’re referring to the day we were all outside raking leaves and playing.

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    • Thanks for sharing your fave stanza. I’m so glad you have encouraged me to write some, and even make me aware of fun opportunities like FWF. This has been a wonderful to connect, as evidenced by your recollection of a special time with our little “magic girl.” πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Beautiful! your words just weave a beautiful visual journey. Thanks for sharing

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  6. awwwwww!!!! I ADORE this! There is a poem in my book of the same name, Magic in the Backyard and it speaks of a little girl making magic outside in her yard with her imagination. Did you read my book already??? It’s almost like you read it and gave a different perspective of the scene I wrote of! It’s so weird…like you were looking out on the character, watching her and I am just in LOVE with this because of that! It is PERFECT! NICE job!! You are a contender honey!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: #FWF Free Write Friday; Some Will Win Some Will Lose, Some Were Born To Sing The Blues « Magic in the Backyard

  8. Congratulations on your win… Although I am soooo jealous! Lovely piece. Might have to go and turn my Bluebell Priness and Aunt Alice entry into a poem as you have me all inspired!

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  9. Raining Iguanas

    Congratulations on your winning entry. They were all excellent but in the end it was really no contest, you nailed the prompt and the essence spot on. Well done!

    Reply
    • What a cool profile name! Thanks for your kind words…I think I was really lucky in that we really do have a tire swing just outside our kitchen window….the inspiration came easily this week. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. You must have entered the FWF late, because I somehow missed your wonderful poem. And Kellie did good in selecting it as the winner! You captured the magic of childhood and backyards beautifully, as well as the view from the other side–the parent with hands in the dishwater of life. Excellent, excellent write!
    Here is my entry, if you’d like to take a look at it: http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/do-you-believe-in-magic/

    Reply
  11. Pingback: An Award Winning Week « New View From Here

  12. Congratulations, sweetie; you definitely deserve the honor. And I’m thrilled I get to “win” too by enjoying the bag and book along with you. πŸ™‚

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  13. This is just so captivating! It makes the picture come alive. It had to be the winner! I love it.

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  14. I think this is one of the most beautiful poems I’ve ever read. I’ve felt this, watching both of my daughters in the richness of their imaginations when life is bogging me down, and I thank God for giving me a glimpse of magic through their eyes.

    Reply
    • Speaking of beautiful, what a comment! And to be honest, just the kind of beautiful comment I needed to “hear” today! Life does have a tendency to “bog us down”…but wow! how wonderful life can be through the eyes of those amazing little children!

      Reply
  15. purpleowltree1234

    Such joy to see you honouring your daughters’ worlds. πŸ™‚ Children have so much more than we do in freedom and innocence of imagination and play. They make our lives so much richer. Thank you for celebrating children.
    I’m amazed the book cover was your prompt!! As I was reading your poem I thought, Wow, he really found a photo that expresses this poem beautifully! :o) I love how you describe things and people. You’ve got a gift for that. Keep writing- I want to keep reading! πŸ™‚
    Love from Rach.

    Reply

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