Poem of the Week, by Hayden Saunier

IMG_8643When my kids were little and nothing else worked I used to resort to the dreaded counting threat. I’m going to count to ten. One. Two. Three. Why this worked I don’t really know, but I never had to count past three. Until the day my son just kept sitting at the table, his bright blue eyes fixed on mine.

One. Two. Three. My voice got louder and slower: FOUR. F I V E. His younger sisters, panicked, urged him to get going, but he didn’t move.      S  I  X.     S   E   V   E   N.   

Oh shit, I thought, the jig’s up. I started to laugh. He did too. We both knew that something was over –some irredeemable bit of childhood–but something new had begun. The ordinary miracle of growing up, that small shift in the universe.


Hard Facts (Especially), by Hayden Saunier

Most everything we’re taught
is wrong.

Especially fixed rules
about small engine

repair in adverse
marine conditions,

walking on ice,
and anything

to do with people.
Especially our own

strange selves.
And so the door

to the ordinary miracle
swings open.


For more information about poet Hayden Saunier, please check out her website.

Words by Winter: my poetry podcast,

My website



  1. Gabrielle McGhee · May 2, 2020

    Oh! Oh my. I so remember the counting trick, but you never rebelled. Good for Luke!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alisonmcghee · May 10, 2020

      Yes, good for him! XO


  2. Marion Dane Bauer · May 2, 2020

    Oh, Alison. What a moment! And what a way to respond to it! My daughter was once counting over something her son and his cousin were doing or not doing. Her son, accustomed to the trick, responded. His cousin, who was growing up in a pretty chaotic household, just sat there. Her son said to his cousin, “Move!” And his cousin said, “What’s she going to do?” And her son said, “I don’t know, but you don’t want to find out!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. alisonmcghee · May 10, 2020

    Marion, this is the greatest story. “I don’t know, but you don’t want to find out!” I love that. XOXO


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