National Poetry Month '24: Games Toddlers Play (11 of 30)

Thanks for stopping by Merely Day by Day. It's National Poetry Month.

Craft Tip #11: Syntax: The Life Form of Poems 

This chapter of The Practicing Poet was all about way we put sentences together grammatically. Our personal synax often shows through in our poems and use of line. For this poem, I tried to push again the first order that came to me a bit. It was a game...just like this poem. 

Games Toddlers Play

before the sun
our games begin.

rise and shine, 
let's see who wins.

no to eggs.
"yogurt, please."

outside we go.
"no, let's play in."

open pantry,
open fridge,

a snack is needed
yet again.

lunchtime yet?,
is on repeat.

no to meat.
no to fruit.

picking books
before nap time,

let's read three -
five it is. 

smiles so sweet,
hugs goodnight.

after naps, 
we'll play again.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2024

For April I will be taking a deep dive into The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basicsedited by Diane Lockward. This book is full of 30 craft tips, so it is the perfect way to shape this month's challenge and dig into the craft of poetry. Stop by my Substack page, Merely in Progress, to follow this month's writing journey, where you will also find reflections, links, and inspiration across the challenge. Of course, this month is really about writing poetry so I will have a new poem posted here each day utilizing a craft tip from the book. Here we go.


  1. You have completely captured the willfulness of a toddler and the gentle flexibility of a grandma who knows how to go with the flow of..."no." :-)


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