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Hi, Kiddo
Grace Hughes Chappell


Hi, Kiddo,

calling to see how you’re doing
where in the world you are
if not what in the world you’re
doing—it’s been years
since I walked you to the corner
to see you across the busy street
years since your breakfast favorite
mashed bananas was every day
since all of us went along
a trail in the Sierra up at 9,000 feet
through the firs single file
silent listening for a hermit thrush;

    in the kitchen
    in the yard
    in the car
    in the store
    at the table
    in the bath—are you done in there?
I’m calling to find out how you are
    in Kansas City
    New York City
carrying you about
carrying you about
    ready to play catch
    loan you some cash
    ready to stanch any bleeding
    any at all
on call

From a forthcoming collection, Unrinsed Memory.
Used here with permission.


Grace Hughes Chappell says, over the years, she’s been a mom, a daughter, and a sister, has taken care of ‘things’ (house repairs, car repairs, relationship repairs), worked as a private tutor, an English teacher, a travel agent, a receptionist, a telephone book delivery-person, a house cleaner, a reader to the visually impaired, a caterer, a snow-shoveler, and she has written. Her work is widely published and she is the author of ten mile creek almanac. Grace lives in northern California near the Eel River, where she and her husband maintain a garden and an apple orchard. Her advice for a good life is be as kind as you can be (and maybe a little more than that), enjoy your family and your friends, don’t be a drag (laugh a lot, sing, dance, do anything that involves music), read a lot, learn to cook a decent meal, watch sunsets and birds and dogs, and—last of all—find something to do for which you have some aptitude. “You don’t have to be a genius,” she says, “just work!”



Post New Comment:
Late catching up with my daily poem but this one is beautiful. It made me cry. So appropriate for my life - even to the point that my recently worked for an extended time in Kansas City! It's like you've been in my head.
Posted 01/28/2022 10:06 AM
Love this!
Posted 01/26/2022 12:49 PM
Stephen Anderson:
The painting of memories, events and love in this poem resonates well and realistically for all parents.
Posted 01/26/2022 11:37 AM
Made me cry too. A poignant illustration of the power of the written word and the connection between poetry and the human heart. Cheers to poetry! and poets!
Posted 01/26/2022 11:07 AM
So poignant and true.
Posted 01/26/2022 10:37 AM
Surprise Reading Teacher:
This made me cry. Thank you!
Posted 01/26/2022 09:46 AM
Ah, parenthood of adults. Fun.
Posted 01/26/2022 08:09 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I love this wise poem that proves a parent is always a parent and always on call even when the child has left home. We always want to know how they are.
Posted 01/26/2022 06:00 AM

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