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Parent Tapes- A List Poem Idea

Parent Tape Poem

I find myself returning to a list poem. When writing this poem I recall asking student writers about some of the recurring messages they received from adults. Their feedback helped me develop, 'Parent Tapes.' Most of us can instantly recall those messages that were on high rotation in our heads. In my case, some of them remain...
'Put things back where you found them.'

Parent Tapes

I can hear them everywhere I go
In my head
Lying in bed
At the park
At night, in the dark
Visiting friends
Making amends…

Parent tapes
Looping around in my brain
On high rotation
Loud and clear
Clear and loud
Messages from Mum
Ditties from Dad
I hear them
Over and over

Stand up straight
Don’t be late
Wait your turn
Don’t speak with your mouth full
Be kind to animals
Show respect
Finish what you start                                                        
Don’t take naps on the road                                          
Speak when spoken to                                                  
Say yes please and no thank you                                                 
Don’t scratch your bottom
Don’t forget to kiss Auntie Bertha                                      
Never throw bricks straight up                                     
Keep your fingers out of your nose                                    
And remember who you are

Over and over again
I hear them
Parent tapes
Everywhere I go

Alan j Wright


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