When I was a boy, I read many things,

Poems and stories of whistling strings.

My mother was poor, but she always had books.

Wonderfully witty with colorful looks.

My favorites were written by an author named Seuss,

Whose language was bouncy and flimsy and loose.

First my mom read them, aloud and at night.

Then I did the same when my age became right.

I laughed and I wondered, “What words are these here?”

Looking for meaning in words that sound weird.

I love how they made my mouth smile when read,

Reading them once, then again before bed.

As I went to school, I wrote on my own,

Copying Seuss in his lyric and tone.

Most the kids scoffed and told me to stop,

Revealing they knew not of “Hop on Pop”.

Still I wrote more, and poetically grew

Into a dad who read of Thing One and Thing Two

To his kids when there was nothing else we could do

But share of the sounds that make them giggle too.

Today I’m a writer, with eight growing kids,

Watching them learn to read as I did.

Twisting their tongues and lips into knots

As they tackle the tales of fish wearing socks.

I am ever grateful to the one they call Seuss

For creating a culture of reading to youths.

To continue to write in the manner I choose

Is the way I can say, Happy Birthday to You!

Author’s Note: I’ve been working on this poem for the past couple weeks because I wanted to show my appreciation for Theodore Seuss Geisel and the impact his writing had on my life. I grew up poor and without a dad, and one of my earliest memories are of my mom reading Dr. Seuss books to me and my brother. After a career in the army, I am now becoming a writer. I have eight children and I read Dr. Seuss books to them every day. Over the years we have amassed a large collection, and I plan to read them all to my grandkids. If you have any memories of Dr. Seuss books from your childhood, please share them!

Image from: https://www.biography.com/writer/dr-seuss