Thursday, September 24, 2015

DMC: "Fortress" by Buffy Silverman


Whenever Amy came to play,
we hid in my bedroom
and spent the afternoon in our forts.

My closet was the perfect stronghold–
safe behind a mirrored door
you pulled a long chain
and a solitary bulb shone,
casting a dim light
on saddle shoes and PF Flyers
and the cool wooden floor.

I imagined sharing the cramped closet–
one of us curled on the floor,
the other perched on a painted shelf,
inventing stories of shadowy foes,
conquering an invisible enemy,

But Amy said we needed separate forts–
each of us in our own private sanctuary
equipped with stacks of books,

and Amy was the guest.
She rifled through my bookshelf,
grabbed my pillow
and retreated to my closet–
her fort.

I slipped into the narrow space
between bed and wall,
my cheek pressed against rough carpet,
enough room for me and a book,
and disappeared into stories
where Pippi rode the high seas
and Tommy and Annika were always welcome.

© 2015 Buffy Silverman. All rights reserved.

Lee Bennett Hopkins has challenged us to write a "ME poem" this month, based on one simple moment in your childhood that changed you in some way. Click HERE for more details.

Send your poem to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration TOMORROW, Friday, September 25th, and one lucky participant will win an autographed copy of Lee's gorgeous new anthology:


  1. As always, I love Buffy's writing!

  2. Buffy--you capture the moment so well! The longing, the disappointment, the accommodation of the guest. Some kid guests know how to play that card very well. The last line sinks the nail.

  3. All those wonderful details, Buffy! Thanks for casting a light and taking us back to your childhood.

  4. Wow, I felt like I was there with you, Buffy! I'm not sure I'd be gracious enough to invite Amy over to play forts anymore, though. Love that Pippi gave you solace. =)

  5. Love the details you have here, Buffy.Makes me wonder what happened when YOU visited Amy's place!

  6. I love going back there with you, although I also think you were very nice to allow your guest to have 'your' fort. You just made me imagine this so well, Buffy. My granddaughters play in their closet all the time. I wonder if someone had asked for poems about closets if everyone would have a memory, too.

  7. Thanks for all the generous comments--I'm afraid I made poor Amy out to be worse than she was (we were best buddies for a few years.) But sometimes it's those negative memories that stick with us!

  8. Wow. This is one powerful poem. And as powerful poems do, this one takes me the time when I was a guest, but as one of three girls playing together was always cast into the role of Cinderella. It was lonely, but I wanted to play. xx