John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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The other day I was over at my friend Lori's house. She was rummaging around in the kitchen for something, and called out to her husband to ask if he had seen it. Without thinking, I said, "have you looked in the ink well?" To which she said, "the hell?" I explained that it was a family catch phrase, a line from a poem that my parents used to read to us when we were very young that had over time migrated into our everyday conversations.

Earlier this evening I was baby-sitting my brother's kids, and as I was putting them to bed, I happened to a spy a very old, very decrepit, and very familiar book in the bathroom: Poems to Read to the Very Young. I brought it downstairs with me once the kids were in bed, and flipped through it until I found the ink well poem, which I then read for the first time in more than twenty-five years. It's not that great a poem, but it was fun to read it again after so many years.

by Dorothy Aldis

I'm hiding, I'm hiding,
And no one knows where;
For all they can see is my
Toes and my hair.

And I just heard my father
say to my mother --
"But, darling, he MUST be
Somewhere or another;

"Have you looked in the ink well?"
And Mother said, "Where?"
"In the INK WELL," said Father. But
I was not there.

Then, "Wait," cried my mother --
"I think that I see
Him under the carpet." But
It was not me.

"Inside the mirror's
A pretty good place,"
Said Father and looked, but saw
Only his face.

"We've hunted," sighed Mother,
"as hard as we could
And I AM so afraid that we've
Lost him for good."

Then I laughed out aloud
And I wiggled my toes
And father said -- "Look, dear,
I wonder if those

Toes could be Benny's?
There are ten of them. See?"
And they WERE so surprised to find
Out it was me!
Tags: poet's corner

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