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Papa Quail Takes the Family for a Walk
Sharon Waller Knutson


He could be any father
in an orange baseball cap
leading his wife and children
across the busy street.
But instead he looks more
like a scuba diver
wearing a snorkel
as he dives head on
into traffic. Cars screech
 to a halt and a dozen
toddlers scramble on short legs
to catch up with their father.
Mama Quail dressed
in her Sunday Best scoots
the children along to make
sure no one is left behind.

From Desert Directions (2015).
Used here with permission.

Photo credit: Albert Knutson


Sharon Waller Knutson lives in a house her husband, Albert, built out of clay from the land on a dirt road in the middle of a wildlife habitat and open range of the Arizona desert. A retired journalist, she writes poetry for readers who don’t normally read poetry. In 2014, Sharon sold her chapbook, My Grandmother Smokes Chesterfields, to winter visitors from all over the world in a café where her husband played guitar and sang country music. Her customers told her they expected her to publish a new poetry book when they returned each year so, in 2015, she published Desert Directions, about her life in the desert. In 2016, she published They Affectionately Call Her a Dinosaur, poems about her customers and other seniors in her life who started new careers, businesses, and relationships after they retired. In 2017, she published I Did it Anyway, poems about how she broke the glass ceiling in the newspaper business in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when women were typically relegated to the society pages. Six other books followed.Sharon's newest is The Leading Ladies in My Life, and she recently launch a new blog. Sharon and Albert (now retired from his music gig) stay busy raising assorted critters and enjoying their 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren..Learn more about her here.




Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Posted 06/20/2023 05:34 PM
Wonderful poem!
Posted 06/16/2023 05:59 PM
Lori Levy:
The poem and photo go perfectly together.
Posted 06/16/2023 03:29 PM
Arlene Gay Levine:
Heartwarming, funny and flows perfectly along like the quail it, Sharon!
Posted 06/16/2023 11:31 AM
A snorkel - Yes!
Posted 06/16/2023 11:04 AM
Joan Luther:
Wonderful imagery!
Posted 06/16/2023 10:24 AM
How moving and delightful!
Posted 06/16/2023 09:58 AM
A fathers day poem with wings. Nice!
Posted 06/16/2023 09:28 AM
Larry Schug:
Both this poem and the accompanying photo are perfect. Who could fail to be moved by this word picture?
Posted 06/16/2023 07:33 AM
Stephen Anderson:
I think that were far too inclined to overlook the wonders of our fellow creatures in our midst. Thanks for reminding us of their coexistence, Sharon.
Posted 06/16/2023 07:09 AM
liz dolan:
Love the image.
Posted 06/16/2023 06:44 AM

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