New Poem: Who Is This Woman And Why Is She Trying To Kiss Me?

I’m pleased to participate in Poetry Friday for the first time.  Thank you to Tara at A Teaching Life for hosting.

With the holidays still somewhat fresh in our memories, I figured I’d share a poem of mine that is all too familiar to kids around this time of year. Enjoy!


Who Is This Woman And Why Is She Trying To Kiss Me?
by Ed DeCaria

We go to grandpa’s sister’s house to see my Great Aunt Sue.
I have to kiss her on the cheek, but then I must kiss WHO???

I guess her name is Dorothy but my parents call her “D.”
I’m pretty sure she’s family but it’s not quite clear to me.

She’s probably a cousin (something distant, once-removed).
Without a DNA test, though, I doubt it can be proved.

She seems to help around the house; perhaps she’s just a maid.
But then again she sleeps here and I don’t think she gets paid.

I’d love to ask somebody but that seems a little rough.
I’d rather not get yelled at – kissing “D” is bad enough!


 © Ed DeCaria, all rights reserved.


For the sake of maintaining family relations, I am not going to elaborate on the genesis of this poem.  Sorry!

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  • Pen and Ink

    Yikes reminds me of Kissing my great grandmother Estelle. Clever poem

  • Ed DeCaria

    Thanks for reading and for the positive feedback! Stop back any time …

  • jama

    Welcome to Poetry Friday, Ed!

    I think every family has a “D”. My boy cousins fled in fear every time. Such is the power of a woman’s kiss! Thanks for the chuckle. :)

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks Jama! I think you’re right about the universal “D” …

  • Linda Baie

    Is it still happening? I’ll have to ask my students. I guess we’ve all been there a few times when we were trundled around. I remember a great-grandmother who was difficult to like, but we had to be polite & kiss her goodbye on the cheek-challenging. You’ve told it just right!

    • Ed DeCaria

      What’s kindof fun for me to think about is which of MY aunts and uncles is going to become the “D” for my kids …

  • Katya

    I really love that poem. So funny. I hated hugging and kissing obscure relatives as a kid so I can totally relate.

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Katya!

  • http://msyinglingreads.blogspot. Ms. Yingling

    Wow. I’m famously picky about poetry because I also like things to have(as perfect as possible) meter and (clever) rhyme, and this is GOOD. I’d love to see a sonnet from you. About… armadillos jumping. Have you ever read Timothy Steele’s All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing? You would enjoy it.

    • Ed DeCaria

      Wow, thank you for the kind words, Ms. Yingling! One poem and I see that I’ve already made your blogroll! (And there I was just trying to see if you had a first name.) I consider it my reward for giving meter and rhyme the respect they deserve but all too often fail to receive.

      As for your suggestions, sonnets I can do. Armadillos jumping … well, we’ll see about that. As you’ll come to learn if you become a regular reader, I try not to stray too far from the real world that kids experience every day. My litmus test for whether a topic fits me is whether or not it could be accompanied by a photograph rather than a drawing or painting. All the same, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to screw around every once in awhile. Poetically speaking, of course.

      Come back soon! And tell a friend! (Or an editor as the case may be.)


    • Ed DeCaria

      I also just looked up the book you recommended, Timothy Steele’s All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing?. Should arrive at my house in 1-11 business days (1 to see if I can find it locally tomorrow, or 7-10 internet speed). Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Jeannine Atkins

    Ed, welcome to Poetry Friday! I smiled at this poem, and it took me rolling back in time, too. It also made me think of Maurice Sendak saying how all his over-affectionate Brooklyn relatives were some of the inspiration for the Wild Things.

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Jeannine! Glad I could send you back in time.

      I had never heard that about Maurice Sendak — how funny. I wonder which NYC traffic route was his inspiration for sailing through a day, in and out of weeks, and almost over a year?


  • Myra from GatheringBooks

    Awww, poor D. Imagine how she must feel about having you kiss her too! :) Haha.
    Warm welcome to Poetry Friday, Ed! :)

    • Ed DeCaria

      Hi Myra. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      You are so right about “D”‘s perspective. I sometimes suspected that she didn’t want to kiss me any more than I wanted to kiss her, especially once I got a bit older.

      I’m big on writing double pieces from opposing perspectives — might have to give this one a whirl.


  • Renee LaTulippe

    Hey Ed, thanks for stopping by to see Jake the Snake yesterday – it was my first time on Poetry Friday, too, and I appreciated your comment. Your poem above is really, really well done – I can’t stand a clunker (even if I still have some here and there), and you successfully avoided writing any. And funny, too! :)

    Also enjoyed your comments about use of video, which I answered on my own blog. I’ll be back!

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Renee. I re-replied to your blog post as well.

      “See you” next Friday?


  • Ruth

    Fun! Thanks for sharing it!

    • Ed DeCaria

      Two comments in one visit — now I KNOW it’s not just a courtesy comment. Self esteem +1.


  • Aadel

    Very cute! I was never forced to kiss anyone as a child- but I always thought Grandma’s kisses were “different”. LOL

    • Ed DeCaria

      It took me many years to get over my “old lady” complex. I’ll never forget an occasion in college where I shared a small 4br house near Univ of Michigan football stadium, and we sold parking on gamedays. And this group of women (65-70ish, not that I consider that “old” any more!) parked and gathered their things, and when I requested the $10 parking fee, the woman asked me to reach into her pocket to get it. Now THAT was “different.” I’m still slightly scarred … but at least I got to eat that day. -Ed

  • Mary Jo Guglielmo

    How funny. I can relate!

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Mary Jo. Okay, you can relate — but can you elaborate? I want to hear more “D” stories! My sister will crack up once she sees this thread. -Ed

  • Mary Lee

    I’m so glad that Mother Reader and Lee Wind’s comment challenge made our blogging paths cross! I’ve added your site to my reader and I’ll be back to poke around some more! Welcome to Poetry Friday. Hope to see you next week, too!

  • Ed DeCaria

    Thanks, Mary Lee. I just dropped by readingyear … awesome post on Friday.

    You will very likely see me EVERY week from here to eternity on Poetry Friday. I am addicted (and I hope, at some point, addictive).


  • Marjorie (PaperTigers)

    :-) Sooooo true :-) I think my kids could throw that one in my face! It’s great that you’re going to be a regular fixture on Poetry Friday and no doubt our paths will cross during the Comments Challenge – not to mention your blog!

    • Ed DeCaria

      Glad you and your kids can relate! (Unlike “D” — 30 years later, jury is still out on whether or not she relates.)

      “See you” again soon.


  • Sarah Frances Hardy

    Too cute!!

    Every kid can relate to this (unfortunately!!!).


    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Sarah.

      Maybe if it was just a hug, we wouldn’t have minded so much …

  • tanita

    Oh, the sad subject of many a bewildered musing during childhood…!

  • Ed DeCaria

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Tanita. Glad you liked the poem.

    I would not say it was a “sad” subject but it was certainly bewildering for me and my siblings!


  • Maeve

    Shudder! Reminds me of that scene from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey where Bill in hell gets terrorised by Granny who demands a kiss:

    • Ed DeCaria

      Any Bill & Ted’s reference is welcome around these parts …

  • inluvwithwords

    This is great! A fun poem any kid can relate to.

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Ruth. Of course, it is now incumbent on you to share this ThinkKidThink link with other kids …


  • Carla

    Well, Ed, I’ve finally made it through most of your site and first of all, I absolutely love it! It’s awesome/exciting/heartwarming to finally see some of your work being appreciated outside of our small family group who has been lucky enough to be exposed to your special talent for years. Secondly, of course this one’s my favorite – walking up the hill to “her” house with that nervous anticipation is a feeling never forgotten. Love this site and of course love you!

    – Ed’s Sister

  • Gail Aldous


    This poem brought back memories of relatives that I didn’t want to kiss. That’s probably why I’ve never made my kids do the same thing. This poem is definitly relatable to kids and should be published in a book! Have you ever thought of writing a poetry book about relatives so this poem would fit in? Read the award winners out there and other poetry books and see how they pick out their themes. Read Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems. I’ve been thinking of writing a poetry book for years. Just remember poems don’t always have to rhyme.

  • Emily Dickinson

    V. funny! My Nonna had scratchy whiskers & I dreaded the kiss moment. Loved her Italian cooking, though!