Mama’s Refrain

Hatless, wind ruffled hair
winter snow flake dandruff
red ears and mustache icicles.
Iowa snow gnome I am
when I see my breath.
Ninety percent of your body heat
escapes from your head.
Well mom, that’s why I’m so cool!


Photo: corner of Boston’s Court and Tremont Streets several winters ago. Story behind the giant tea kettle: manufactured in 1873 by Hicks & Badger; a “sign” outside the old Oriental Tea Kettle shop. Signs were common in early Boston to identify shops for those who could not read. On January 1, 1875 a contest was held to guess its capacity and Boston’s Sealer of Weights & Measures officially measured it.  10,000 spectators stood by as 8 boys and 1 tall man concealed themselves inside the kettle. The court was officially measured to hold 227 gallons, 2 quarts, 1 pint, and 3 gills. An attached mechanism produced steam. To this day, in the cold winter months, steam is seen coming out of the kettle. Starbucks made a wise decision to place their store here!
Poetry prompt: final assignment in Fall 2015 Poetry Apprenticeship with Holly Wren Spaulding:  write an “advice” poem — perhaps from shoulds and should nots of your early days!


5 thoughts on “Mama’s Refrain

  1. Killing Jar Studio November 21, 2015 / 6:56 pm

    Wow! Must be fun to romp around in snow like that, even hatless – I think.
    Neat story about the kettle, it doesn’t look that big in the photo.
    *$$ chose the right spot for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2015 / 7:01 pm

      Yes…I always took my hat off as soon as I got away from the house! Although this is written in a male voice, it’s really me and a saying my mom said many times every winter!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack November 23, 2015 / 6:04 am

    You know come winter and I can’t get my darling teenage daughter and son to wear their big coats to school – darn their excuses for 6″ wide lockers.
    This piece warmed the cockles of my heart – winter wonderful, Lillian:)
    Happy Monday.
    thanks for the interesting trivia, I would have wondered about the kettle much longer than I should have

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 23, 2015 / 6:15 am

      Smiling I always am when I read your replies. Some day my friend, we shall sit down with cups in hand and meet outside of this cyber world! Happy Monday!


      • AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack November 23, 2015 / 6:19 am

        I believe we will. My Bostonian niece and nephew will be heading this way for Thanksgiving.
        To future cups of java with friends:)

        Liked by 1 person

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