It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
(theme from “Misterrogers”)

Nan is outside watering pots of basil
she shares with our whole building.
Her boyfriend planted the sunflowers
that gaze right back at me as I write this.

Mohammed is heading out for school
on the new bike his cousin gave him.
He’s studying to be an engineer,
and his uncle is ready to take him on board.

Ra’jel came by and dropped off two dishes…
Ethiopian cooking, so hot it will peel the skin
off your tongue, but so good with a cold beer.
And the warm, sticky bread, like heaven.

Honey! You’re home early. I already got the mail,
just junk, but why do folks leave most of theirs
on the floor of the mail room?
(“Because they know you’ll clean it up.”)

We’ll have a swim in the complex’s pool
before cooking out on the patio…
but we’ll wait awhile, because right now
Demond and Yasir are going at it with squirt guns.

I love this building. It’s like the United Nations
except that everyone gets along pretty well,
and when we don’t get along, we wait a spell
for the hurt to heal… and try again.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I will always be grateful to Captain Kangaroo and Misterogers for presenting to children the peaceful side of life, filled with positive lessons, crafts, and the occasional giggle. Also, Fred Rogers (please don’t post that he was a war hero, check Snopes.com first!) wrote the theme song, which he sang while putting on his sweater and sneaks. I wanted to keep the poem as sweet as the song, in answer to a prompt at Poetic Bloomings, a new site. Hope I succeeded! This is also at Poets United – go read some other poets there as well! Amy