No Vacancy


Sometimes on Saturday morning,
When I’m trying to sleep in late,
My mom likes to laugh and ask me,
“Are you going to hibernate?”

Some how the word has gotten out
That I have a really neat place.
‘Cause when I woke-up this morning
A skunk was curled up in my face.

A squirrel was hiding winter nuts
In a nest he’d made at my feet.
And a porcupine was snuggled
Against the mound made by my seat.

I guess my bed is pretty big,
And I was always taught to share,
But now I’m running out of room
And I’m afraid to tell the bear.

During the school year there is no greater pleasure than sleeping late on a Saturday morning. One of my mother’s standard comments was, “I thought maybe you had planned to hibernate.” I knew from reading animal books just which animals hibernated, and I would make believe that I was snuggled up next to a big grizzly bear in its den. It doesn’t seem like such a great idea now, as I look back on childhood days, even though it was just a Teddy bear.

The little boy in No Vacancy is irritated at his guests, but he is a little hesitant about telling the bear. My mother encouraged my imagination; maybe that’s why I write the kinds of poems that I do today.

One of the greatest gifts of childhood is imagination. The worst enemy of imagination is ridicule.