Sunday Poetry: In the Silly White Suit with the Gold Buttons

Welcome to Sunday Poetry. If this is your first visit you can read about the purpose and inspiration of these Sunday posts here.    

What’s your part?  Just slow down a little and come along for the read–or sometimes, for the listen.  If you’d like to tell us what the day’s poem means in your life, or what word or phrase you’ve chosen to reflect on, or where those reflections have taken you, we would be honored. 

Today’s poem is “How to Become a Stepmother” by Beverly Rollwagen.  Last week we honored mothers, and this week it seems fitting to honor stepmothers.  This poem is so acutely visual.  Can’t you see these scenes unfold, feel the emotions, feel that final zing of pleasure as you begin to believe things might just turn out after all?  How many of you had stepmothers?  How many of you are stepmothers?  Can you relate?

Has anyone ever watched you “from all five corners of the room”?

Since this link will lead you to website of The Writer’s Almanac, if you choose you may also have the pleasure of hearing this read out loud by Garrison Keillor by clicking “listen” at the top.


  1. Denise on May 15, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I quite liked the poem,and I am not a step-mother. I really like the author’s style, loved the phrases “slip through the blue of her eyes”, “all five corners of the room” and “feel the orchid grieve against your cheek.” I thought it was very descriptive and made me think of some that I do know that are step-parents. Thanks for sharing this, and yes, I feel very hopeful for the family. 🙂

  2. Linda P. on May 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’ve been watched much like that before, but never from my two step-daughters. We were all family friends before I married their father, so just continued. I’ve been married to their father for 31yrs and have always enjoyed the best of relationships with my two beautiful & loving friends.
    Loved the description & phrases of the author.

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