Monday, March 25, 2013

Taken In--By Jean Calkins--United States

Taken In
(Cinquain Sequence)

I’d seen
my mother do
it many times, a part
of normal farm life, keeping things
in check.

But I
am ashamed to
have chosen the same thing
later: my kids watching me drown

It is
a memory
I will never forget,
it haunts me still and always will,
I know.

Jean, at 80, has been writing poems since she was 18. For 25 years she published a popular poetry quarterly of up to 100 pages, with a subscribership of nearly 500. Illness in 1986 ended the magazine. She currently publishes, by email, a 2-page monthly of clean humor. Contact her at


  1. Dear Jean -

    I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. You caught me by surprise all right. Can't wait to read more of your poems.


  2. The sharp format matches the content perfectly. Best wishes ralph.

  3. The fact that my father drowned puppies - still haunts me today and I am 71. I will never understand this - ever...

    Rhoda Galgiani

  4. Humans do horrible things... fortunately they are also capable of inspiring works... like your poem! Terry

  5. Thank you, Phyllis Babcock, for the following comment--

    A lovely poem that brings back memories of my early days on a farm. Well done Jean.

  6. Thank you, Jack Clubb, for the following comment--

    This is a powerful poem. My mother took our kittens to the pound where she assured us they would be adopted and given good homes. We believed her because we wanted to. The alternative was unthinkable for a child. The cinquain format works well.