Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sylvia's Smile

I'm high-jacking my own blog today as a part of Teachers Write an on-line summer camp for teachers and librarians who also write. It's a super experience and I highly recommend it. Today's quick-write prompt is from author Phil Bildner....on Kate Messner's blog:

In the quick write Phil challenges campers to people watch and turn it into a piece of writing. Here is mine for today--always in verse. It's a revised bit of WIP. But, I went to the hair salon this morning for a hair cut.....and remembered the people watching that led to this.

If you are interested in Teachers Write Summer Camp please see Kate Messner's blog. I believe the sign-ups for campers this year are complete. However, the camp runs five days a week from the public blogs of authors: Kate Messner, Gae Polisner, Jo Knowles and Jen Vincent. You can always follow along there.   ~Linda

Mom always said
just about everything
could be covered
with a smile.

She said this for about
the millionth time while sitting in
the pumped up chair of Chrissy’s Salon
which was just a room
off the back of Chrissy’s house.

I watched Flintstones
on the little black and white TV
on a plastic table
next to dryers for the older ladies
with wash-and-sets.
I enjoyed the invisibility
of childhood and
warm hum of the dryers.

In mid yaba daba doo
conversation went silent
as shears kept snipping
and the dryers, drying.
Ms. Audrey sigh-said poor Sylvia,
followed by tsks and tuts
     such a tragedy and those kids...
     never would have guessed…
Hanks of gossip in the form
of sympathy fell on
the floor …piling up with hair
waiting for Chrissy’s broom.

When Chrissy murmured
     no church funeral
my eyes flew from the screen
to her Cover Girl painted face.

Chrissy met the
questions in my eyes
over mom’s wet head,
and commented on
Mom's large ears.
Mom stared into the mirror
at a reflected point above me
and the dryers and the TV.
     Sylvia always had the brightest smile.     

7/7/15 all rights reserved


  1. Wow, Linda, I really love this. Great voice, and such detail and observation that captures this startling moment. Brava!

  2. Linda,
    As always, your poetry blows me away. This is beautiful. I'm so glad you shared it here.

  3. It took me on a trip to the salon. Beautiful.

  4. Beautiful, Linda. Fantastic details that say so much in just a few words.

  5. I realize how hard it is to put YOURSELF out there, Linda. Trust me. You can relax. Love, love, love it. Fantastic job. :-)

  6. Love how you weave the emotional into the mundane. Beautifully written. I sure hope you're working on a verse novel. My sixth graders are hooked on this genre,and I'm always searching for new verse titles.Hope you're planning to add one soon. :)


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!