The Ringworm Jamboree

Thanksgiving is over and I’m already hungry again.

Bummer. Because that doesn’t just mean no more food, fun, and relaxation for a month. It also means a very busy next four weeks for myself and the rest of Team Soul Mender as we prepare book two of The Soul Mender Trilogy, The Peace Keeper, to release to all of you on New Year’s Day!

Yay! Yikes! Oh the excitement and pressure of it all…

I decided to clean off my desk to prepare for this month long book-production marathon, and stumbled upon a poem my mom sent me awhile back that I wrote when I was twelve years-old.

“The Ringworn Jamboree.”

I don’t think I’ve written about my relationship with poetry yet, but I know I’ve verbally shared with some of you about the garbage I’ve created over the years, and how I should just stick to writing topsy-turvy fantasy thrillers…

That’s not how I feel about this poem though, for a few reasons. And even the teenaged-angsty-shit, for lack of a better term, did serve a purpose in my life. Just like many of you out there who are probably self-conscious closet poets, I find myself needing to rhyme words and create stylistic metaphors when something bad happens, or I’m trying to process something that makes me feel any emotion that I don’t want to be feeling. Maybe if I could write more poems just because I enjoyed it, they wouldn’t be so gosh-darn whiny.

Not the point.

Going back to “The Ringworm Jamboree.” The title sounds silly, the poem itself is ridiculous, but it was written by a very distraught twelve year-old me who was trying to sort out the nasty feelings associated with discovering one’s first ringworm on their arm. My parents tried to explain it to me. I’m sure I looked it up in the Merck Manual (the tangible equivalent of Google at the time for all that was wrong with you, for those even younger than I am), and yet I still didn’t get that I had a fungus on my arm that people called a worm and told me to put dandruff shampoo on…it still sounds silly to me.

Long story short, I’m not writing this to share my woeful medical history, although you’ll be happy to hear it has been many years since these worms visited me. All I really wanted to do was share the only poem I’ve written that I actually like and hope that it brings you a little bit of joy today.

Is it any good? No. Not really. But it sure makes me smile each time I come across it—and there’s pride to be had in making yourself happy.

The words are posted below in case you can’t read the poem in the photo. The pages are old and photocopied from the original. The also got rained on when my roof leaked…

The Ringworm Jamboree, circa 2000
One day I got a ringworm,
I didn’t know what to do.
So I stuck a piece of lettuce to my arm
and decided to let him chew.
Then I tried to rub him off,
and I told him to go away,
but I don’t think he understood me,
‘cause soon his family came to stay.
Then came his friends and neighbors,
and a few worms from afar,
so soon I had a colony of ringworms
up and down my arms.
They stayed through winter and summer,
and also spring and fall,
and I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that ringworms
aren’t worms at all.