Poetry Friday: Penelope’s Ditty


Each month, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes of Today’s Little Ditty shines the spotlight on a noted children’s poet. February’s featured poet, David L. Harrison, left readers with a challenge to compose a poem inspired by the word “ditty.” David explained that “I’m always entertained by how many poems come spinning out of the same word, and they arrive in all sorts of packaging.”

My brain started spinning and something made me remember this stuffed parrot, a baby gift from a friend for my oldest son:


I named her Penelope and hung her over Brian’s changing table. I made up stories about her and used to sing “Penelope the parrot is such a pretty girl…” to him as I dressed and changed him. He used to laugh and eventually sang along with me. After almost thirty years in the attic, she’s a little worse for the wear. She used to have black button eyes, and her colors aren’t quite as vibrant as they once were, but here she is, ready for her updated ditty.

“Penelope’s Ditty”

A parrot named Penelope
grew restless, bored, and fluttery.

She longed to soar over the ocean blue,
not sit in a cage like a stuffed statue.

Spreading her silky feathers wide,
she caught the breeze and began to glide.

Above an island, volcanic and steamy,
she met her mate, oh so dreamy!

Now nestled on her balcony
in the lush rainforest canopy,

she primps, she preens and looks so pretty,
visits with friends, is charming and witty.

Happy to be footloose and free,
Always singing her sweet little ditty!

© Catherine Flynn, 2016

Please be sure to visit Elizabeth Steinglass for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Penelope’s Ditty

  1. Nothing worse than becoming “restless, bored, and fluttery” in your mature years! LOL. I love your ditty’s story, Catherine, and the backstory too. My heart is soaring with Penelope! (And BTW, she seems quite content roosting with the other ditties in the wrap-up celebration.)


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