MN (12/17/33 / Chicago, Illinois)

The Oatmeal War

Mary Lee was a mischief.
Mary Lee was a tease.
She liked to play at the sea shore,
Dancing with the waves and breeze.

Mary Lee, I promised your mom that I
Would make you a big, hot bowl of oatmeal
Every morning that you visit, my
Dear, so take yourself a nice, big bowl. Deal?

Yes, Aunty, but I want to eat it by
The sea. May I take it with me? Oh, please!
You may, but eat every drop, she sighed.
Mary Lee grinned, taking mock bites, to tease.

Holding the bowl over her head, she danced
Into the sand dunes, turning and leaping,
A beach ballerina that dipped and pranced.
She lay in the sand, arms and legs sweeping

To make a sand angel near some driftwood.
When she heard the saddest crying inside.
She peeked in. A trembling, small puppy stood
A dirty rope on his neck kept him tied.

She reached out to free him. Stop! He can’t hide.
We found him. He’s ours. He belongs to us.
The terrified puppy whimpered and cried.
Pa, you can run him down with this old bus.

I bet I can run him down first try, Ma.
Mary Lee quietly dipped her wooden spoon
Into the bowl. I just know you can, Pa!
YOU STOP! Why have some oatmeal as a boon.

And she smeared it over his whole windshield.
She tore back home and grabbed the oatmeal pot.
SPLAT! A big blob of oatmeal she wielded
Right on the old woman’s fancy new hat.

Then Mary Lee heard a faraway call.
Teddy! Here Teddy Bear! Come here Teddy!
The poor puppy curled into a small ball.
Teddy! Time to go home. Are you ready?

She untied the knot, but he froze with fear.
The old man grinned and came ever nearer,
Arms spread. PLAP! A buttery oatmeal tear
Made his glasses like an opaque mirror.

Then the puppy realized he was free.
He gamboled in the sand. He ran, and jumped
Across the dunes to the beloved man’s knee.
They played along the shore, and splashed and bumped.

Ma, I can’t see a blamed thing. Let’s go. Drat!
Some bees had followed the buttery scent
Of oatmeal and lit on ma’s flowered hat.
Wherever they smelled oatmeal, there they went.

Mary Lee took the rest of the oatmeal,
Sorry you have to leave in such a rush,
And emptied it on top of the old car.
Come back next week. We’re having corn meal mush.

Mary Lee was a mischief.
Mary Lee was a tease.
She liked to play at the sea shore
Dancing with the waves and breeze.

by Mary Naylor

Comments (1)

When she heard the saddest crying inside nice story poem 10