ROUND ONE: 5-slurred vs. 12-rejuvenated

r1f1 5-slurred vs 12-rejuvenated

Click here for authlete instructions.

Voter Instructions:

  • The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
    • When voting closes, timer will disappear.
  • Read both poems as many times as you like.
  • Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
  • Press the “Vote” button to record your vote.
  • Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
  • You can only vote once from a given IP address.
    • Classrooms should submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word.
  • Technical elements: meter, rhyme, form, shape, and other poetic standards.
  • Creativity: wordplay, imagery, unusual approach, etc.
  • Subtle elements that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Your overall response: emotional reaction such as admiration, tears, laughter, terror, or some indefinable feeling.

Here are the poems:

Mish – Mash
by Linda Baie

“Hey Mom, it’s Mish, just called to shay the newsh about the game.”
“What’s that you say? Can’t hear you Mitch. You’re mumbling again.”
“We won the game, but dere’s a hitch, an injury or two.”
“Don’t understand, your speech is slurred, the words sound all askew.”
“Dear Mom, we won, but dere’s a loth. A toof has disappeared.”
“Oh no, again? Football is rough, the injuries I feared!”
“My yittle finger’s crooked now. My jaw ish magnified.”
“You’ll soon be home; I’ll take a look. Goodbye!” And then she sighed.


Mother’s Retort to Junior, Age 15
by Heidi Mordhorst

You think I am too old,
too late—
You think I can’t incorporate
new style, new sounds,
new swag, new “apps.” Perhaps.

But even in my frail and failing state,
there must be some way to rejuvenate
my sadly sagging groove and— WAIT!

How ‘bout I chaperone your date?


Public Vote (5-slurred vs. 12-rejuvenated)
Final Results:
5-slurred vs. 12-rejuvenated

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
5-slurred vs. 12-rejuvenated
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
5-slurred vs. 12-rejuvenated

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  • Mother Streusel

    Exshellent!!! And an oldie but a goodie! Ha ha ha.

  • Renee LaTulippe

    Noooo! Why are you up against each other??? Sigh. I’ll be back.

  • Linda Baie

    So amazing that we both wrote about mothers, Heidi! Well done, my competition!

  • Quinette Cook

    Two very different poems. It made voting difficult. The thing I enjoyed most is that both captured the essence of their young characters – mother/son poems fun!

  • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    Another impossible matchup… Nooooooooooooooo!

  • Allan Wolf

    Thish one ish going to be closhe!

  • Diana Murray

    These are both so great! Linda, hilarious!

  • Buffy Silverman

    Both of these made me laugh aloud–did the same mom make two appearances?

  • Rebekah Hoeft

    Love the mother/son conversations!

  • Heidi Mordhorst

    Very curious and yet not now surprising (it happens often every year) that both poems are conversations between mother and son! Love how you built out around “slurred,” Linda.

  • Kathy Ellen Davis

    Both fun stories! And yes, funny you both featured mothers! I love when the poems are related somehow :)

  • Ryan Stockton

    I hate to be a Debby Downer, but shouldn’t Heidi’s poem have used “rejuvenated” instead of “rejuvenate”? We were supposed to use the words as written, right? Please don’t misunderstand, I thought they were both fantastic poems and I enjoyed them immensely, I just want to make sure I understand the rules…

    • Mother Streusel

      Wow, good eye! I didn’t catch that!

    • Samuel Kent

      I just noticed that too?

    • Ed DeCaria

      Yes, the word was used incorrectly. But I do not filter the poems. So if rules are broken, it is up to the voters — authletes included — to decide what impact that should have.

  • Mother Streusel

    Oh my gosh!! So close!!! Congratulations Heidi!

  • Samuel Kent

    Congratulations Heidi! See you next round!

  • Linda Baie

    Congratulations Heidi-I’ll look for you in the next round!

  • Heidi Mordhorst

    Wow, that WAS close. Thanks for an exciting match-up, Linda!
    I’m going to blame the word-mistake on our Monday snow day, if I may. It’s funny how a whole day of unstructured time wipes the mind. Here’s my blog post from early this morning explaining it,
    and I’m much obliged to all those who voted despite my misrememberment. Which should be a 16-seed word next year.

  • Michele Krueger

    good job, both! Soooo close.

  • Ed DeCaria

    For the record, Heidi’s poem was submitted late, but I did not apply the penalty votes in a timely fashion. So had Linda not won the Public Vote outright (congratulations, Linda!), or otherwise had the penalty votes made the difference between who advanced to the second round, the penalty most definitely would have been assessed. It would not have been the first time the penalty votes made the difference, either: On-time submissions matter, authletes! -Ed