Poetry Friday: “Watch Me!”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllLike so many of my poems, this one was inspired by one of my kids. My 3-year-old, to be precise.

You see, ever since he figured out how to walk, he’s been dancing.

Check that. He was gettin’ down with his bad self even before he could walk. He’d be lying in his playpen or feeding chair, just chilling out…when all of a sudden he’d hear music and start wriggling and kicking and laughing.

Now that he’s 3 and can actually cut a rug, he’s a riot to watch. And when he starts singing along to what he’s dancing to…well, he brings the house down. A real song and dance man, that one. This one’s for you, Little Dude.

Not the best pic in the world…but here’s the little guy from Halloween 2012, in full chimney sweep regalia, recreating his favourite scene from ‘Mary Poppins!’ Dick Van Dyke’s got nothin’ on this kid.


“Watch Me!”

I’m the world’s greatest dancer – I dance all day long
To a couple of beats or a ten-minute song,
To a light little rhythm or rock-heavy beat;
It’s amazing, the things I can do with my feet!

I can shimmy and spin, I can swing and sashay,
I can turn, step, and pivot – then shuffle away.
I can fox-trot and mambo, and jitterbug, too!
There is simply no dance that is too hard to do.

I can two-step and twist, I can boogie and bop,
I can tango and tap, I can hustle and hop,
I can rumba and samba and break, lock, and pop;
No, I’ll never be, EVER be able to stop!

I can dance dawn til dusk, and from dusk til it’s dawn,
I can dance in the kitchen or out on the lawn;
I’ve the speed of a cheetah, the grace of a swan –
And I’m even way better when the music’s turned on.

© 2013 Matt Forrest Esenwine

For all of today’s Poetry Friday happenings, stop by Robyn Hood Black’s blog, Read, Write, Howl!

19 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Watch Me!”

  1. Kathy Brodsky

    Great, Matt! I love it!!

    Now, a video along with it would be terrific. Kathy

    Kathy Brodsky (603) 668-1975 kathy@kathybrodsky.com http://www.kathybrodsky.com http://www.helpingwords.com

    Quoted in the Wall St. Journal: http://tinyurl.com/wsj2010; My Bent Tree &The Inside Story honorable mention Green Book Festival 2010; The Winner Is & Stover Creative Child Preferred Choice Award 2011; A Horse Named Special – Creative Child Magazine 2012 Picture Book of the Year Award.


  2. Reading this poem just makes me want to get up and dance. Fantastic rhythm in these lines. Love the beauty in this one: “I’ve the speed of a cheetah, the grace of a swan…” Adorable photo of your son in action. : )


  3. Thank you all! I got this idea from watching him dance with no music about a year ago – all he needed to do was see a speaker and he knew that was where the music came from! And Renee, all I can say is, keep trying out different types of music – Little Dude liked the Sesame Street CD I got him when he was very young…but by the time he was 2, he preferred country singer Eric Church!


  4. My granddaughters (4 and 18 months) have dance time in the evenings, Matt. My daughter & son-in-law play lots of music, as I suppose you do too, & they love it. I will share your poem with them! It’s just great, full of your title through & through. I notice that you end poems so well, & this is another good example! Thanks!


  5. Thank you, everyone! Being a former radio DJ and country dance instructor, I think music’s in his genes. I knew I wanted to make a list poem that didn’t read like a list poem (they can get tiresome if not written well) but part of what I needed the list to do was to gain momentum to lead up to the end. I hoped I could accomplish that by progressively adding more & more types of dances to each line and also by switching the rhyme scheme in the 3rd stanza.


  6. haitiruth

    My son responded to music from the earliest age, too. It’s so cool to see their personalities — I almost said developing, but since becoming a mother I’m convinced that so much of who they are is fully formed when they are born.


  7. What a wonderful poem, Matt. Love the beat, the funny lines, and surprises like this one:

    I can dance dawn til dusk, and from dusk til it’s dawn,
    I can dance in the kitchen or out on the lawn;

    What fun. I can just imagine the wonderful times you have together. 🙂


  8. Fabulous! Reminds me of our almost two-year-old granddaughter and how she responds to music. Such fun to watch.

    Your poem is quite dancable too. Nice beat and, like others have mentioned, I love all those dance words.


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