A Poem for My Sister, circa 1981

When I was ten years old, I decided to write a poem for my sister, Patti, who was six years older than me.

Patti loved playing tennis against the garage door of our giant machine shed and would spend hours doing this instead of playing with her little sister who followed her around when we weren’t doomed to cut acres of grass or pick the evil weed portulaca from our garden for two weeks.

My poem showcases my tennis-loving sister.

It also showcases

  • political incorrectness
  • why I should never be allowed to rhyme
  • my horrific signature.
It does not showcase my adoration of Patti, whose birthday was this past weekend.


The crossed-out line reads: “Until she thinks of Brad.” I suspect I edited this because I knew Patti would smash a tennis ball at my face if I read it to her.

Happy Birthday, dear sister. Next time, I’ll tell the prostitute/hooker story or the lawn mower joy ride story or how you snuck me into bars when I was 14…and 15…


Do you have any funny writing from when you were young?
Please send it to us at StuffKidsWrite(at)gmail(dot).com.

About Leanne Shirtliffe

Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of SLOTH TO THE RESCUE, SAVING THUNDER THE GREAT, THE CHANGE YOUR NAME STORE, and NO MORE BEIGE FOOD (2016). She also wrote humor books DON'T LICK THE MINIVAN: Things I Never Thought I'd Say To My Kids and MOMMYFESTO. She and her family live in Calgary, Alberta because they like complaining about the weather.

Posted on May 21, 2012, in For Siblings, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. OH my gosh. This is just too funny.

  2. Ha! I see you had writing talent at an early age, Leanne! I love the ending, and the “and thinks she knows it all” line!

  3. Leanne, I’m waiting for the hooker and bar sneaking stories.

  4. You kiddin me? The signature is cool!

    On the other hand, the “By” is a bit cheesy, I’d say 😛

  5. Wow. Impressive for a 10-year-old. I like it.

  6. Running from Hell with El

    Awww. Love that you carried around a notebook and wrote (coughing) lovely poetry! I did too and my poetry was even (coughing again) more lovely hehe.

  7. That is a beautiful piece of tween wordsmithing. And don’t get me started on the signature…

  8. Hilarious!
    This is gold.
    You should write ALL your blog posts in rhyme.

  9. This is fabulous. Sheer brilliance. I love that you kept it! I’m totally jealous of your signature. I always thought mine would look better if one of my names started with an L.

  10. Does that say, Now I’m going to get thrown?? That is too funny. She doubled as a tennis playing WWE wrestler?? Ha

  11. Loved it! Let’s see some more!

  12. Love this, Leanne. How does your sis feel about now? I’d treasure it. Wish I’d kept some of the stuff I’d written when I was a teen. My brother – bless his heart – is a love, but boy was he a scorch.

  13. Hooker and bar stories. We need hookers and bars, hookers and bars!

  14. Omigosh! Vivian is your mini-me. It’s obvious now. Love this. If we’re allowed to submit our own stuff from long ago, um… I’ll get my own diary. Because you know I try to use big, fancy vocabulary words to describe him. Will find it.

  15. Your poetry reminds me somehow of your joke telling.

  16. Love it! Pretty damn good for 10…I’m sure it would have had the desired reaction back then 🙂

  17. I like the fact that you had to write this: (Patti Shirtliffe) after the title My Sister.

    You know. In case you forgot…

    Pure awesome.

  18. That really is an awesome signature. Do you still sign stuff this way?

  19. wow! you were an awsome poet since childhood! 😉 And I love your “motto”!

  1. Pingback: A Poem I Wrote When I Was 10 | Leanne Shirtliffe ~ Ironic Mom

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