Poetry Month: The Heavenly 70s 3 of 30

For the month of April, I'll be writing poetry each day in celebration of National Poetry Month.  I've decided not choose a theme, not to plan the writing, but instead to wait to see what poetry finds me each day.  

Today is also the first Tuesday since the March Slice of Life Challenge.  It seems only fitting that I try a "story poem" today.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for hosting this community.  Join the conversation here.  

There's always so much to learn during April's poetry celebrations.  If you haven't stopped by The Poem Farm to see what Amy is up to this year, you really need to click over for a visit.  This year, Amy is writing about one subject using a different technique each day.  On day one she shared a list poem and on day two a story poem.

For Easter, I decided I wanted to make my Grandma's fruit salad.  I called my mom for the details on the recipe.  When I placed the fruit salad on the table my daughter commented, "That salad is retro 70's."  That made me laugh....I guess I'm a little retro myself.  I thought this would make a great poem.  At first, I thought it was surely a list poem....then I thought maybe it was a story poem.  Today I'm going to try it both ways.

Retro 70s
a list poem

What's retro 70s?
Grandma's heavenly fruit salad
and so much more:

late night hide and seek,
neighborhood kickball,

Saturday morning cartoons,
phones with cords,
8 track tapes.

Easy Bake Ovens,
Chrissy dolls,

No seat belts,
bike helmets,
or sunblock.

Retro 70s.
Was there a better time
to be a kid?

© Cathy L. Mere, 2018

Grandma's Fruit Salad
              story poem 

I watch Grandma work.
She drains mandarin oranges
and a can of pineapples.
She grabs a glass,
pours the juice in for me.

Reaching into the cupboard,
she adds
miniature marshmallows
of many colors.
She gives me a handful.

Mixing her sauce,
she stirs it all around.
The oranges, pineapples, marshmallows
blend together.
She passes a spoonful to me.

Standing beside her
in her kitchen
full of love,
I take a bite and smile.
It's perfect.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2018


  1. I grew up in the 70s and am feeling pretty nostalgic these days. I love the way you approached sharing the salad as both a list and story. The tone in the second poem is nostalgic.

    1. Isn't it always the challenge, deciding the voice and lens of a piece of poetry or writing.

  2. I love both of those poems! I remember so many of the things you mentioned in the list poem... oh, those were the days! In your story poem, I can picture everything just as it was. Very nice! :-) ~JudyK

  3. Wow - two for the price of one! Love the comparison of the two types of poems. Both bring a different feeling and emotion.

    1. I'm not sure I got either one to the place I had hoped, but it is interesting how many different angles can be found.

  4. I love both of these! I think we grew up about the same time because I totally remember all of your retro 70 mentionings! Easy bake oven? Yep, had one of those (and burned my knuckles many times). And my mom and grandma made this fruit salad all the time, but usually with white marshmallows and a little coconut.
    I love both of these approaches!

    1. Yes, the old retro Easy Bake that looked a bit more like a standing over than the one that now looks more like a microwave. I think mine was an odd green color. I had a popcorn maker too that came with salted flavoring you put on the popcorn. I think I lost interest in making popcorn after the salt packages were gone.

  5. So much to love in both of your poems. The list poem made me smile with the words -
    "No seat belts,
    bike helmets,
    or sunblocks."
    And then your story poem, I was standing there beside you waiting for that glass of juice from your grandma.
    The version we had included sour cream, coconut, and pecans. White marshmallows only and was called 5 cup salad, but it was really 6 cup with the 2 added cups of fruit. And it was best when it sat in the refrigerator for a few hours of overnite.

    1. There is some sitting in my refrigerator right now. I called my mom for details on the recipe and decided to make it. As I was making it I commented to my daughter that I wasn't sure it would quite taste like Grandma's. Her wise reply, "Even if you get it exactly right it won't quite taste like your Grandma's because she didn't make it." She gets it.

  6. The glass of juice from the drained pineapple and oranges...this detail grabbed my heart. Mom did that for me...


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