Friday, January 18, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: BROOM

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for Roundup!
For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann. I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?
Here are January's prompts: apron, bar, basketball, bed, bicycle, birthday, boat, broom, button, cake, car.

Before I get to my response, here is a broom poem by one of my favorites, Valerie Worth:


It starts
Out so well,
Its fresh
Gold straws
Cut square,
Flared wide,

But so often
Ends otherwise,
With weary
Wan bristles
All stubbed
To one side.

- Valerie Worth

I guess I don't have a lot of "broom" memories, because the first thing that comes to my mind is a book with a broom: OLD BLACK WITCH! by Wende and Harry Devlin.

I loved this book. Basically it's about a boy named Nicky. He and his mom move into an old house they hope to turn into a B&B, only to find it's already occupied -- by a witch! The witch's broom features heavily in the story. :) With that in mind, I wrote the following poem:

Mama says
sweep sweep sweep
to keep cobwebs at bay

sweep sweep sweep
to whisk crumbs away.

But I'd rather
leap leap leap –

RIDE that broom!
And maybe, just maybe

Varoom, kaboom!
Zip like that old black witch
all around the room.

- Irene Latham


  1. Yes, riding a broom sounds more fun than sweeping with it! xo

  2. Your poem is such fun to read! Thank you!

  3. I think I'd rather ride than sweep, too, if I was a young girl. Love your memory, Irene. And Worth says it beautifully every time, doesn't she?

  4. Charming poem, Irene. Yes, riding is much better than sweeping. :)

  5. Completely unrelated to your post, but I wanted you to know -- Shadman found your book Fresh Delicious yesterday and shared your tomato poem. The class continues to be in love with all things Irene Latham! I'm going to pitch Don't Feed the Boy next week! I bet there'll be a waiting list!

  6. That book sounds like fun, Irene, and I love your inspired broom poem. It sounds like it belongs in the world of Hogwarts and Hermione.

  7. What a fun poem! Love the word play between sweep and leap.

  8. I enjoyed traveling with you along the journey to your poem. Then I enjoyed the lively varoom kaboom ride through the kitchen! Much more fun than simply sweeping up crumbs!

  9. I wish I had memories of zooming around on a broom! That sounds like much more fun than sweeping. I enjoyed your poem and the memories that led to it.

  10. oh, how wonderful! I would love to leap, leap, leap too! I love how you captured a voice in this short poem. The voice is strong.

  11. I'd definitely go for riding the "broom" and going "Varoom, kaboom! Fun poem Irene–and I wouldn't mind high tailing away for a wee bit, with the witch to a warmer climate.

  12. Irene, I am not sure what I would write with the word broom but I love what you cane up with.zipping around the moon sounds like such a delightful trip.


Your thoughts?