Charlotte On My Mind


Charlotte On My Mind

I miss her.

The legs, sure–
(what a pair, what a pair, what
a pair, what a

The spelling–tops–
(not everyone knows when to stop
putting r’s
in “terrific.”)

Of course, the web had
its icky side–
but there’s those out there who can’t abide
a trough–will scoff
at a rim of pancake,
act way too thin
for a tin’s skin of milk (even sweetened, even
anything of that ilk–

(Oh, she would have liked, sniff, “ilk”–)

She killed flies,
flies, and would have definitely
hurt a flea–

But she saved

And that, I realize, is what life
is all about,
at least, if you’re (snort) living–

having someone in your corner–
in my case, of the barn door–
who listens kindly to your grunts upon the floor,
who wants every whisker on your pork
to wave in the fork
of tomorrow, I mean, today–
this very morning–
when the moon gleams still
in the great blue hill
of the way beyond me,
just like the memory
of her round grey (whiff)
(blort) orb–

A friend of more than sorts–
that’s a friend who
when you’re immured
in fresh manure, reminds you
of the ineffable being
of being–that even
weeweeing all the way home
is a worthy roam; 

who makes you feel
like you’re “some pig”–
no matter how old, fat, unexciting–
because that’s what she once called you
in writing–

Because there’s something about words
written down
even when they’re written up,
that you hold onto
in your heart
long after the dew’s departed,
even when the paper/ink/web/ silk–
all that ilk–
has frayed to wisps, can only
(she, sniff, would
have liked


An overly long poem belatedly for Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads to write a poem in the voice of an animal.  This one from Wilbur the pig, of Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White.

I have to confess to having aborted other attempts at this prompt especially in the face of some of the wonderfully clever poems others have posted and that I’ve read so far–Kerry O’Connor’s wonderful “Dylan Thomas’s Dog’s Request” and Hedgewitch’s Nevermaiouw.  (Check them out–I’m sure others on Real Toads are also great–I’ve not yet had a chance to check them out !)

And I am so very sorry to be late in returning comments.  This has been an unusually busy week. But I will (eventually) get back to people.  Thanks much for your patience.  And if you are truly patient–prove it by checking out my new book, Nice, or any of my old books!


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17 Comments on “Charlotte On My Mind”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    I was laughing here instantly. but also, reminded of the sadness of childhood in that one-of-a-kind story, k. You revisit the sort of friendships and loves we are able to have as children and make their purity (and frailty) the singularity that it is, and that we so often forget in the welter of subsequent life and loves. And there is something about words written down…yes, there is.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. I was on the train last night, very late, but luckily with one of my daughters, and I asked her advice on literary animals. She immediately suggested Wilbur, which was a great boon to me, as I’d gone a bit blank–I tend to get stuck in Yeats somehow! After Poe–I don’t even know if there are many animals in Yeats! But, of course, I love when it comes to literary animals, hard to beat Charlotte and Wilbur. k.

  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    A friend of more than sorts–
    that’s a friend who
    when you’re immured
    in fresh manure, reminds you
    of the ineffable being
    of being…

    This is just perfect, Karin. I remember seeing the movie when I was about 10 – and crying in utter mourning at the end. I read the book thereafter and I have never forgotten the sweet, clever Charlotte. I’m not surprised that Wilbur could not forget her either (despite the babies she left behind).

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Kerry. It was a very popular book when I was growing up (years and years before the movie!) I’ve not seen the movie! But glad to know it took you to the book. k.

      On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 10:59 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  3. Ha, I’m so slow, I didnt realize this was about the characters in Charlotte’s Web and was just totally blown away by how wonderful it was – I thought you were describing one of those remarkable women friends who grace our lives. It works splendidly both ways and is extremely clever! Loved it.

  4. ‘that you hold onto
    in your heart
    long after the dew’s departed,”

    Awe – just perfect.

  5. Susan Says:

    O! My favorite web builder. It’s about time Wilbur spoke! Thank you.

  6. lynndiane Says:

    This is truly delightful, K! Wonderful word play and use of rhyme…I’m also a fan of Charlotte and Wilbur.

  7. brian miller Says:

    nice…have read charlottes web a few times…having those kinda friends is what life is all about…and sad when they go away….cool perspective in this…

  8. Polly Says:

    What a giggle this gave me, wonderful k. 😀

  9. I love this book and your remembering it here in such a tender way. Oh, the loveliness of their friendship. Yes, it’s what life’s all about.

  10. claudia Says:

    i have to confess that i have no idea what charlotte’s web is but seems like i have to look her up… good friends are def. worth gold…

  11. ds Says:

    Terrific, terrific, terrific! I adore Charlotte, and Wilbur (and Fern, for that matter. And those immortal final lines–whose spirit you capture so well here–“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

  12. You cause me to long for a viewing of this classic…well done!

  13. Jim Says:

    Good insight, “K” ~~ I’ve not read the book, I should but probably never will. Nor did I see the movie. I wonder how the censors are taking this book out of libraries now, the KILLING of a pig so he can be eaten might scare little children.

    Poor Wilbur, Charlotte was his good buddy. Even when he didn’t really understand what all was going on. Every time I see a truck of cute little pigs headed to market I ‘think’ of becoming a vegetarian.
    Back in Wilbur’s day I raised a litter of pigs, one each for my last two years of high school. Eight and nine count. They were pets. I do not remember sending them to market but I suppose I did.

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