Two Poems for Willy at 50


1. A Lesson in Teamwork


This is one of my earliest memories of you:

I was 5 and you were 2,

I woke you up at 5 am,

The house was dark, our parents asleep,

But I had a project and we were a team.


To prevent our entry our parents had latched

The kitchen door with a hook on high,

Requiring research, and a team approach.


Quietly slipping down the hall

We scoured the living room,

Flashlight in hand,

Silently seeking siege equipment.


Chair on ottoman, balance precarious,

You steadied the pile

While I stretched out my hand,

Not far enough!


With your help, I tried again,

Book in hand, to lengthen my reach:

Success was ours, the latch undone!


We quietly entered the kitchen of night,

Undiscovered yet familiar country.


This was our first great adventure,

Long before you went to Europe

Or hitch-hiked across America.


It was perhaps unfortunate but inevitable

That some mishap should occur,

Such as dumping the sugar bowl

All over the kitchen table…

It was you who did that,

Wasn’t it?




II. A Politically Correct Little Willy Poem


Little Willy, strange to say,

Builds his food bank day-by-day,

He started small, driving the truck ---

Now he’s lord of all, and may be stuck.


Meals on wheel and corporate appeals,

Stacks of barrels and financing perils;

Rows of box, and overstocks

Fill his warehouse, call for “Wows!”


But Little Willy is no more,

Big Willy, now, since long before,

First half century,

Still adventuring,

Working still in Watsonville,

Living well in Soquel.


Such is the sway of Big Willy’s fame,

He signs, willy-nilly, without a surname!