Hot Springs Creek

Well, it’s Friday which means meme day from The Red Dress Club.  This week’s prompt was to write a narrative poem about the inner workings of a family.  Yikes!  Gotta say, poetry isn’t my thing.  Aside from this gem, I haven’t written poetry since being forced to write Haiku in high school.  But, I told myself I would do all these prompts, regardless of how challenging they are for me or how crappy my writing.  Also, I couldn’t get it to format right.   So, sorry.  Be gentle.

Thick, steamy water

Hot Springs Creek slowly flows

at the foot of a steep trail

behind a fence preventing scalds.

This wasn’t the plan.

“Visit the hatchery”, she said.

Feed the writhing mass of trout

waiting to stock the lakes.

Instead, we descend

One Nana, two aunties,

two little boys, three little girls,

and me.




Walking sideways down the slope,

grasping little hands.

Slipping on rough gravel,

kissing bleeding knees.

Sweaty baby sticks to me

strapped against my chest.

Thank God, I used my common sense,

and didn’t bring the dog.

Water behind a fence.

Lazy blue damselflies hover.

Nothing much to see.

Time for all to leave.




“I’m tired”, she gasps

collapsing on the gravel.

“Carry me, Mommy.”

Forty pounds up.

“Tired too,” she whines.

“Pick me up too.”

“I can’t carry both,” I say,

“let Auntie carry you.”

Temper tantrum.

Flailing hands.

Gravel caking face.

Thirty pounds up.

Forty in my left arm,

thirty in my right.

Twenty sticking to my chest.

Up, Mommy, up.

Trudging feet

barely lifting off the ground.

Legs are throbbing,

heart is pounding.

Let me put you down.

Panting hard,

rest a minute,

wipe my salty brow.

It’s so hot.

“I’m tired, Mommy.”

“I can’t do it.”

“No one else but you.”

Forty in my left arm,

thirty in my right.

Twenty sticking to my chest.

Up, Mommy, up.

To the car,

we finally make it.

Buckle every body in.

Water one, water two, milk for number three.

Blast the A/C,

vents turned toward ruddy face.

Arctic breeze cools me off.

Off to see the fishes.

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About Jessica Anne

28 Responses to “Hot Springs Creek”

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  1. jaded16 says:

    Aw loved it. Especially this “Up, Mommy, up.

    Trudging feet

    barely lifting off the ground”.

    Keep writing! I admire your determination to go on with the writing prompts! Bon continuation!

  2. Whew. I’m worn out just thinking about that outing. Repeating all the lbs. was smart.

  3. Kristy says:

    It really did capture what many of our family hikes have been like!

  4. Ericka @alabaster cow
    Twitter: alabastercow

    I could feel this and my god woman you’re a saint! But seriously well written. I’d definitely keep writing poetry if I were you!

    • Jessica Anne says:

      Thanks for the kindness. The thoughts going through my head at the time disqualify me for saintdom. I’ll just have to settle for martyr. :)

  5. Aging Mommy says:

    I liked this – the up, ups and down downs brought it all together and your words evoked exactly the day, the heat, the trying to carry two toddlers up, up and up. Very well done.

  6. Christy
    Twitter: thinkinmommy

    I thought your poem was wonderful!

  7. sarah says:

    I love this! I know exactly what you are describing! Wonderful work.

  8. Kerry
    Twitter: thebutlerway

    that was so good and I believe, really happened. did you haul 90 lbs of kids like that? Lord.
    ok, you are doing the RDC. I chickened out on this week’s meme. I am not going to do that again. great poem!!

  9. The Drama Mama
    Twitter: poopscoopinmama

    I love it. Moms will do anything for their kids, won’t they, even heaving 90 lbs of body weight if thats what it took. Beautiful. I was out of breath, looking for water at the end too.

  10. Diana
    Twitter: knzus

    That was awesome! I was trudging right along with you, trying to get them to the car!

    Don’t doubt your writing skills, Jessica — you do such a wonderful job with the words!

  11. Shelby says:

    For someone unsure about their poetry skills this was amazing!!

  12. Kirsten
    Twitter: NilsenLife

    My favorite line (repeated)? “twenty in my left arm, thirty in my right” – that had such a beautiful rhythm to it as it repeated, I *almost* didn’t imagine the thoughts that were going through your head. I am SO familiar with that kind of Death March that was supposed to be a fun little trip for the kiddos!

    (found you via TRDC and Red Writing Hood!)

  13. Leslie @
    Twitter: crunchybetty

    I agree with the favorite line of “twenty in my left arm.” That TOTALLY made the poem. I felt it. I lived it. Now I’m tired.

    Yay for your writing, missy. Yay, yay, yay.

  14. Ash
    Twitter: AshatShades

    You totally had me laughing at the end – oh, if you had only gone to see the fishes. How many times do we as mothers think surely the kids are going to love this, only to end up carrying those 90 pounds?

    Really great job. Really.

  15. Jessica Anne says:

    Thanks so much! I don’t know why we never learn. There’ll be time when they grow up a little to do this stuff. I’m sure I’ll do it again.