NPM: PF: On the perils of misunderstanding idioms

It’s funny how the mind works, isn’t it? My mind was on quite a ramble this morning. I was thinking about PF and how I haven’t participated in weeks. I figured this week wouldn’t be much different, as I haven’t been writing much. Then, I was remembering a comment I made to my writing group about trying to write something “light and sprightly” after I’d shared yet another pair of somber, dark poems. I like the word “sprightly” and the sound of it, so I jotted down a bunch of “ight” words in my notebook.

Next, my thoughts turned to my after school Writing Club. This past Monday we started talking about favorite Shel Silverstein poems. Someone mentioned the one about the person who lost their head and ended up giving up looking for it and sitting on it. Another student looked horrified: She clearly was not familiar with the poem. So, of course, we had to dig out “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and share that poem with her, along with a few select others. And I was thinking about how joyful that was and how timeless Shel Silverstein is.

My thoughts wandered along and perhaps “Someone Ate the Baby” (another epic Silverstein poem) was percolating in there somewhere (though we hadn’t shared it), because the phrase “I want to eat you all up!” and potential misunderstandings popped into my head. Somehow it combined with some of those “ight” words and suddenly there was a limerick in my head. It isn’t light and sprightful, but writing it made me giggle. I hope you enjoy it as well.

On the perils of misunderstanding idioms

There once was a baby delightful.
Everyone said they wanted a biteful.
As they cuddled and oohed,
I snuck in and chewed.
And now they all think I am frightful.

©Molly Hogan

Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. Make sure to stop by to enjoy some poetry as National Poetry Month winds down.