Pegleg Pete—Blank Verse

When my son began to crawl, he learned that

If he really wanted to move, he would

Have to get up on two hands and one knee

And one foot. He would be there crouched like half

A frog ready to leap to the safety

Of the pond. Then, he would crawl like normal

Until he got to that foot when he would

Lunge and set back down on his foot with a

Clomp! He sounded like a peglegged pirate

Walking the deck. And that is how got that name.


And now, like how all of my old nicknames

Have transferred to him, his name has transferred

To me. With my ankle healing and my

Crutches gone and a hard plastic brace on

My foot, I walk like a one-legged man

Surveying the house like a pirate captain

Commanding the deck of his ship limping

And swaying as he goes. Clomp. Clomp. Clomp. Clomp!


Blank verse is unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter. That means that there are ten syllables per line and the rhythm is broken up into iambs of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. I do not claim that my poem follows the iambic pattern in any rigorous way. In fact, I work out the rhythms of my iambic pentameter by ear and I allow for natural variance of speech. If upon subsequent readings I deem that the lines do not flow properly, I may shift the words around into a more fluent pattern. If you want to read more about the blank verse or any of the other poetry terms, check out the glossary of poetic terms from the Poetry Foundation at:


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