Poem: Trio

Your kids wait patiently for their turn to speak to you, right? They sit quietly, without fidgeting, and attend to the current conversation? They graciously allow a sibling to finish telling a story before sharing their own?

Yeah, um, neither do mine. In fact, I often feel as if I’m being followed around by a pack of baby goats: “Maa! Maa! Maa!”

Let’s just say we’re still working on this whole family “harmony” thing … and these days, it sounds something like this:


(pianissimo) Mama,
pretend I’m a butterfly
named Lyla, a little
purple butterfly who
lives among the
(mezzo-forte) Mommy,
I learned the coolest
thing! We made it in
school today and you
need to come see how

(fortissimo) MAMA!
POTTY! (continuing
in counterpoint)
Mom Mom Mom,
come see, I’m gonna try

then get pollen, Mama, and fly
I folded on these lines

to my nest up high,
actually now I’m a bird
named Ly — (crescendo)
— la; chicka-dee-dee
-DEE  Watch out, Mommy,
watch out, here comes my airp —

Mama — MAMA —

© Sarah Dunning Park, from What It Is Is Beautiful (Peace Hill Press), 2012. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments! What’s the soundtrack of your life like? Is there a type of animal that reminds you of your kids? (ha!)

top photo source
Sarah Dunning Park

Sarah lives with her husband and three daughters outside of San Francisco. She is the author of What It Is Is Beautiful, a collection of honest poems about parenting.

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  1. Sarah, you write the best poems EVER. I used to be such a poetry snob in college, but my chronically sleep-deprived brain can’t register all that deep stuff the New Yorker runs, you know?

    This, though. THIS is accessible. This is wonderful stuff! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I know exactly what you mean… I can’t focus on any of those types of poems. I wasn’t sure, though, what sort of reception I’d get with a poem that features the word “poopy” repeatedly! 🙂 So glad you liked it.

  2. Oh my gosh, were you in my house today??? Seriously great stuff! Oh, thank the Lord it isn’t just me… 🙂

    • Thank you, Catherine! I read your comment aloud to my kids, and they grinned. This is their favorite poem of mine, since it’s their ‘voices.’

      And no, it definitely isn’t just you!

  3. Brilliant!

  4. lol. that is awesome! Exactly how I feel all day, everyday. ha.

  5. This is awesome! I can totally relate to the “pack of baby goats.” Your poem reminded me that I am not alone! My kids just say my name for no reason some time!

  6. As always, love it, Sarah!

  7. Melissa N. Page says:

    I thought this was absolutely beautiful. I only have one child, a 4 year old boy who just on his own is a baby goat, following me, jabbering and jumping, and I will have to stop and listen, wiping my wet hands on the dishtowel, turning off the hairdryer, etc so that I can give him attentinon. I had always said I wanted a lot of children but that was not to be so this gives me a glimpse of what it would have been like! This poem made me chuckle and feel for the mama goat too! It warmed my heart.

  8. I loved this. I laughed quietly, my shoulders shaking since my baby goats are all quiet at the moment.
    You have a gift of taking ordinary, mom stuff and turning it into art. Brilliant.

    • Many thanks, Breanne, for your kind words! I feel like the art is *there* … just kind of hidden, and I’ve got to try to find it. Or I might go crazy. 🙂

  9. I love this poem! It reminds me of the day I took your girls to the park and they demonstrated their spelling prowess — P-O-O-P. =)

    Good luck with your pack of baby goats. They are wonderful little girls.

  10. thank you Sarah,
    you have taken something that I usually see as ugly chaotic and stressful noise and turned into something beautiful

  11. ha! baby goats, i just love that!! only one of my baby goats is a talker, but i get a lot of maaas and baaahs and the like from the other one too! it’s lovely at the end of a long day to read your poem and focus on the humorous side of all that this mama job brings every day!

  12. Melissa McIntyre says:

    OH.MY.GOODNESS! I love this! Sounds just like my house but I have 6 baby goats! And our youngest daughter has a not so funny little habit of head butting people too!! And our 4 year old, yes I said 4, with the “mommy!!!!!!can you wipe me??????i have poop! Her four older sibs were wiping at that age, so I’m not real sure what her deal is 😉 Anyhow, I LOVED and NEEDED this, just toooo funny!

    • Thanks, Melissa! Wow, six baby goats!! And I love the head-butting image — that’s so funny!

      • Melissa McIntyre says:

        😉 Yes, it’s pretty amusing….in a somewhat painful way! Think I’m gonna have to look into your book!

  13. Kirstin @ LilliBean Designs says:

    I laughed so much reading this poem – this is my sound track too x three! When bed time rolls around I sit in silence for five minutes, my constant soundtrack finally silent.
    (But I will admit when the house is quiet sometimes I miss the chatter!)
    Great post x

    • I’m with you, Kirstin! I love the silence… and that’s somehow when I’m able to see it all differently. 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the poem!

  14. Awesome.

  15. My chorus seems to be disappointed “Awwwws” in surround sound stereo.

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