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  • Writer's picturesadie.speaks

Mr. Rogers and Hokey Pokey, 1978

Mr. Rogers says

When there’s a





To look for the helpers

Mr. Rogers says

That he likes me

Just the way I am

That I’m important

That it’s a good feeling to know I’m alive

That I’m his friend

And his neighbor

Mr. Rogers says

To share responsibility

To play

To make believe

To be kind

And, to look for the helpers

Mr. Rogers makes me feel

Less like a latch-key kid in 1978

And more like a free spirit at hokey pokey group skate:

Propping me up

Bearing all my weighty emotions



A pillar

A foundational figure in my childhood

The best kind of support.

Like customized crutches or ivory columns

A strong verb; a noun

Not like weaker adjective supporters

-Support hose-

-Support bras-

-Support casts-

-Support systems-

-Supporting a political party-

-Supporting a cause-

Mr. Rogers was the salt of the earth

He was the light on a hill

Crooning from a magic tv box screen

Playing rerun after rerun,

He carried an entire generation on his shoulders—

Supporting the tender essence of childhood.

And now, he’s gone

An entire young generation

Trying to find their footing

Without the footer of Mr. Rogers

And maybe, it’s our turn

To be a neighbor

To be a friend

To be a helper

To be responsible

To play

To make believe and

To be kind

Maybe it’s our turn to burn our weak adjectives of support

And become strong verbs and nouns:



Rising up as ivory columns

And customized cornerstones

For the children

For our grandchildren

To grow up past looking for the helpers

Until we are the helpers

To keep another from falling

To love our neighbor

To be kind, one to the other

To like the people in our lives just as they are

Maybe I could touch one soul

With the underpinning of love

So that they know they are important

And maybe, just maybe

They could do the hokey pokey

-With my full support-

Because they have a friend

A neighbor;

Because they have a helper

In me.



I have long loved Mr. Rogers and find his personal life and career to be fascinating. I like his style--especially the button-up cardigans and keds. If you are a survivor, and even if you're a regular person in a normal world-- I truly hope you are free to put your whole self in as you 'turn yourself around.' 'Cause that's what it's all about.

I wrote this poem in response to a 5-day writing prompt challenge offered by hope*writers. Day One Prompt: Support

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