You asked me
to bring
two cardboard boxes home from work
to make a castle
& that’s exactly what you did,
stacked them one
on top of the other, mama can you
cut doors & windows?
you continued
even when mama got a little bitchy
about cutting skinny strips
from cardboard
(it’s not easy you know)
I know
thank you
attaching strips to flat pieces
look here’s my castle
with beds & thrones & windows
a balcony with railings, impressive
but just as you imagined
there it is
are exactly right (good mama)
as mama never could have imagined
right here

Linking this up with Kenia’s prompt to the Real Toads, very late.


  1. Late but not least. I love it. I am so in love with everything you write, because the life in your days can be seen in it.

    Thanks for writing to the prompt. <3

    1. thank you, Kenia. i got "cardboard" in my head and had to get it out :) xo

  2. Cardboard castles are the best! You are a good Mama, Marian and the loved shared between you and the smalls shines through pieces like this poem.

  3. I remember making my own and all the once my daughters built… castles and houses, rocket ships and cars… empty cardboard boxes are filled with imaginative possibility!

  4. I loved every word of this, the feelings just washing over me and thinking, "yes I feel this about my own children these days. The rush of imagination just floods our house."

    I love knowing you have that magic in your space too. xox

  5. Oh, I love a mama who cuts a cardboard castle for her child after a tiring day at work.

  6. The imagination and creativity all rolled in to one sweet poem - especially meant for the non-believers.:)

  7. It's remarkable where we find, and leave, inspiration. This is a wonderful comment on the synergies of creative activity. And also a note about how much of creativity is just plain work! Fine job.
    Steve K.

  8. What a wonderful way to cast a moment to memory. Well done, fellow poet!

  9. Cutting cardboard castles.. what a joyful time spent together... (and in the end it's what counts)

  10. smiles... my 13 year old is building a working catapult now. tabletop, but, probably lethal. yikes! ~

  11. Yes! I adore this. And, cutting cardboard IS hard!

  12. this took me back to cardboard forts one of my favorites as a youth....such fun with a discarded box or three...

  13. I love what you have captured here, the child world building and the parent begrudged with the futility. Or maybe that was just my reading of it, but I do love this! Viva la

  14. Oh gosh. Beautiful! I loved the interaction, the back and forth.

  15. I love this, Marian, and I've cut plenty of cardboard in my time as a big sister, also as an aunt. I'm a great-aunt now and my cutting skills are all but gone, but I can make real good admirey noises.
    Luv, K

  16. A tender and honest fugue between mother & child where the strength is equal and the humility endearing. So hard to measure up to a child's dreams. I loved the cardboard forts my brother and I made when we were children.

  17. it really is hard to measure up. but also, just amazing to experience. xoxo friends!

  18. I've done stuff with the kids but never something that they had asked for like this. It is an honor any parent would cherish for the rest of their life. Nicely written, Marian, just the right amount of negative resistance showing up at the time when the parent gets tired first. :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!