Annie Farnsworth of Arundel contributed this week’s poem about life with a 5-year-old son. The poem was inspired, she writes, by the amazement of realizing her child “was a gift that allowed me to see and move through the world in a way completely different from what I’d previously known.”


Spaghetti Western Days

(for Jacob)

By Annie Farnsworth

My son, just turned five

has not learned the rules about wild versus tame.

Always busy, transplanting field violets

and dandelions into my garden to make it

“more beautiful,” smuggling toads

and millipedes into the house to keep for pets.

I mourn those small lives whose tiny,

dessicated remains I must chip from the windowsills,

shake from shoeboxes, and I try to explain

why we must leave nature where it is.


But this is a boy who snitches

my scotch tape and writing paper

to roll his own “cigarettes,” who knows

that the good guys wear white hats

but he wants a black one anyway. A boy

with holsters and spurs, no horse in sight.

Days like this, when both front and back doors

flap like wings, and the big pine out back

flies a banner of kite tail,

I see that my doorstep is no boundary

and that there are frontiers I haven’t yet

got eyes to see. And if I know anything,

just one damn thing worth knowing

in this lifetime I’ve learned it only since

this whirlwind of a boy

blew into town.



“Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry” is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2006 by Annie Farnsworth. Reprinted from “Angel of the Heavenly Tailgate,” Moon Pie Press, 2006, by permission of Annie Farnsworth. Questions about submitting to “Take Heart” may be directed to David Turner, special assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at [email protected] or 228-8263.