I love spring. Growing up in Southern California, the land of perpetual summer, I never fully appreciated what it meant for the sun to shine again after a long, grey winter. I didn’t know what “popcorn popping on the apricot tree” even meant until I was an adult and moved into a house with a real apricot tree in the backyard. (“Ooooh, so that’s what that song was talking about!!”)
So a few years ago, when all the blossoms in our yard were “popping” and all the world was pink, I dragged my rocking chair over to our large bay window to rock my babies to sleep and enjoy the seasons. That’s when I wrote this poem.
My Rocker and Me
By Margaret Anderson
I have a big rocker where I like to glide
And look out the window and see what’s outside.
It’s a perfect soft chair where we laugh and we sing,
Take naps in, tell jokes in, and ride on her wing.
Outside of the window there stands my old tree.
She grows with the seasons, like you and like me.
She’s strong and she’s tall and she’s old and she’s wise,
Her branches keep changing, they’re full of surprise.
In spring when I wake with the fresh morning sun,
I see she popped popcorn, all rosy and fun!
I pounce on my dad to come look at the sight–
That tree must have been pop-pop-popping all night!
He scoops me right up and we rock and we scheme
Of the treats we can make from this big popcorn dream.
Then he sings me a song with his voice low and gruff,
And my mind can see things in that pink, fluffy puff.
There are bears in the blossoms, and playful baboons,
And pirate ships, puppies, and hot air balloons.
My dad can see penguins and little pig feet,
And I lean on his chest where I hear his heart beat.
Oh, the sky is so bright and as blue as can be,
Just my daddy, my tree, my rocker, and me.
When her twigs burst with green and make big leafy flags,
My grandma is here and I help with her bags.
We work in the garden, bake cookies, and sing,
And when the sun sets comes my favorite thing—
We get out my quilt, oh-so silky and worn,
The one that she gave me the day I was born.
She sits in my chair and rests me on her knee,
And we snuggle and watch the rays light up my tree.
Then I hop up to get stacks of books and a light,
And Grandma reads on and into the night.
She does all the voices while I turn the page;
We feel like we’re actors out on a big stage.
She says we’re a pair and I quite agree,
Just my grandma, my tree, my rocker, and me.
Then the leaves turn from green to red, yellow, and gold,
And I need a new coat to keep warm from the cold.
Just like my fine tree, I am growing so tall,
But my mom still rocks me, like when I was small.
She whispers me tales of when I was a baby.
“You want to keep growing?” I tell her, “Well, maybe.”
There are big things out there in my world to explore,
Like classrooms with snack time and new friends and more.
So I give her bear hugs while we still have a minute,
Then unzip my pack to see what she put in it.
Sometimes I feel nervous, but now not so much
‘Cause I know I’ll be back here in time for our lunch.
Then she kisses my head and I curl up one knee,
Just my mom, my tree, my rocker, and me.
When her branches hold snow, my mom bakes warm bread,
And Grandpa comes over and brings his old sled.
We come home exhausted, two tired old pups,
And Mom brews hot cocoa while I fetch the cups.
He kicks off his boots, and I pull off my sweater,
We climb in my chair; oh, that feels so much better.
He shows me some tricks with the shiny new nickel
He pulled from my ear with a tug and a tickle.
I tell him my knock-knock jokes, he asks, “Who’s there?”
We always are laughing in my rocking chair.
Then we stare through the glass and my tree seems to glow–
She sparkles with diamonds of sugary snow,
While icicles glitter and shine clear and free,
Just my grandpa, my tree, my rocker, and me.
Do you have a rocker or other fun spot
To share with the person who loves you a lot?
A chair that is perfect for books or a nap?
(mother whispers) “You are never too big to sit on my lap.”
Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate, returned missionary, free-lance writer, and mother of five small children. Read more at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com