the truth of legend

Remember that time when the roof caved in?
I mean when it literally, actually collapsed?
Or I guess more accurately, the ceiling fell in,
though maybe it felt like the sky was falling.

I don’t actually remember the ceiling falling
but everyone talked about it forever after,
so, you know how you remember things you don’t
really remember, because you remember the stories?

It’s like that. It entered the realm of family
legend: The Day The Ceiling Fell In. Like the time
my namesake aunt locked herself out of the house
with me inside alone. I don’t remember that either.

Or the time I was locked in a closet or the time
I said my baby sister was so cute that she was
A Sweet Little Pain In The Neck. They’re stories,
and they must be true, because they tell them.

Legends. They just are. All I know is the ceiling
fell, all of it in a crash, making a mess-pile
on top of the console television. And the miracle was
that in that huge disaster, the television was spared.

Fireblossom asked the Real Toads to write about the roof caving in.


  1. Ah, Memory! Good Times. Hee hee. I love this poem, replete with family stories. I know what you mean, we hear the stories so often, they become part of our cellular memory. Many of my grandma's and my mother's stories feel like mine, too - in all of the retelling and remembering, they became a part of me. Great write, kiddo.

    Reminds me of the time my mom drank too much red wine and tried to climb the Christmas tree.

  2. Yet another one of those posts that I'm going to read at least three more times before I get my fill...

  3. The lore we thatch together as families is often the roof that keeps us covered, snuggling together in bad weather.


  4. How great that you took the prompt literally and had this iconic story to tell. I love all the other bits of family lore you wove in.

  5. Ha! ...stories, must be true because they tell them...made me reflect on those family stories of my own. Loved this piece, what a fun read.

  6. must be true because you read 'em here on the internet!

  7. Neat choice. Was it a disaster? No, because they live to tell and tell and laugh about it all again. Well played out in this poem.

  8. Memories and time are so fluid and nondescript.
    Do I remember it or do I remember you remembering it?
    Have always remembered it or is it a memory that came back later in life?
    Memories are interesting things.
    Well done!

  9. I believe in cellular memory. I believe the memories of my ancestors live in me. The most immediate ones are those stories of our childhood and infancy. They make us who we are.

  10. Ha! Oral tradition--families can't ever let it go, which is mostly a good thing, because besides your own embarrassing stories you usually find others even worse. My ceiling fell once--it was the ceiling of my closet, and the frat boys had moved out upstairs without cleaning out their fridge--when the power got shut off, everything melted and collapsed on my sweaters--pretty gross.Enjoyed your poem much more than my ceiling experience.

  11. laffin @ the divinely protected television!

    All of these stories are surely true, and even if they weren't, they are now. I once stepped through the ceiling of our rented house when I was in the attic looking for something. I missed the beam and stepped through the plaster. I caught myself on the beam, but I'll never forget my dog looking up at me through the new hole, like "dafuq?" Neither will I forget my darling ex coming come and going ape about the damaged ceiling until I finally said, pointedly, "by the way, I'm all right."

    1. ... that is why they are "ex's" :)

    2. really it WAS a miracle, the television! divine! you got it, Shay.

  12. This was really enjoyable! I guess that is the way to remember calamities... by the stories :)

  13. glad you all liked this one. i now have four in this style, we'll see if any more are in the offing. :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!