The Poetry Bus is Headed to the Alps

Shh – I’m not really here. Okay okay, maybe I really am here, just a day early. But I wanted to get on the Poetry Bus & I have my ticket ready! Rachel at More About the Song is driving this week & she’s asked us to remember a character from our childhood – from a book, movie, comic, etc. And for whatever reason, this is the one that popped into my head.


I tiptoe
into the room
that’s no
longer there.
White chenille
on the bed –
don’t touch!
When did you last
wash your hands
little girl?
But in that careful
room that’s no
longer there
lived books
that I could touch
all I liked.
My Friend Flika.
Black Beauty.
And my favorite –
Heidi. Oh!
Keep your horses Mimi
and give me the Alps
and a goatherd
and a happy ending!

This room was in my grandparent’s house which was torn down last year (there’s a blog post in all those feelings I had at the time – I was surprised by regret). It was my favorite room even though I wasn’t allowed on the bed. I’m not entirely sure which books were actually on those shelves, or which of my aunts had left these books behind – probably all four, although the aunt I called Mimi was the horse nut – but to me it was a treasure trove. I’m pretty sure that’s where I found Heidi, and lost myself in her world. If I felt especially brave I might even read the book in the slanted roof room!*

*The slanted roof room was an addition built on the house where the ceiling slanted so steeply that I couldn’t stand at one end of the room. It seemed ominous to me & I always felt very brave when I spent any time there – it was my version of a haunted house!


  1. My daughter LOVES Heidi...especially the bit about sleeping in a hay loft.


  2. Oh and I love those first four lines.

  3. What a charming poem, Dana! A beautiful reflection on the books of your childhood.

  4. This reminds me a lot of my Aunt Lady Mae's house. She lived in an old shot gun house that had an awkward addition to the kitchen. That was where she stored all her canned and pickled stuff. It smelled like vinegar in there and it always gave me the creeps.

    I haven't thought about that house in years... to bad you aren't here Dana, I really liked your poem.

  5. there was a tv show of heidi - one of those foreign programmes dubbed badly into english - that used to show here in the 70s

    It was endless episodes of Heidi talking to her grandpapa

    That is my only knowledge of the character

  6. Excellent poem filled with memories and a life long friend!

  7. very excellent poem. First lines are very beautiful.
    Thanks for share
    wedding poems

  8. Oh-oh-oh. I had this very same book. Same cover. What memories you've evoked for me!!

  9. Heidi was also one of my favorite characters ... the book, the movies, I could never get enough ~ will still sit down and watch on occasion given the opportunity. Lovely poem!!

  10. My Heidi copy had lovely illustrations that I enjoyed colouring in! I still have it...

  11. My mum was Swiss and was called Heidi, and she called me Peter, though she denied all knowledge of the book and told me I had been called after one of her early boyfriends....

  12. Lovely poem and great memories! Heidi was my first "real" book. I recall my grandmother's room. the yellow chenille bedspread was so inviting - but touching was not allowed.

  13. Oh Bug, that's really good - I love the way you've brought that room, those times, into the memory of the book. Very, very evocative - I was genuinely moved by it.

    Keep your horses Mimi
    is a great line!

  14. I had the SAME book! Thank you, dear Bug, for a fine poem and a stroll down memory lane.

  15. wow, lovely detail about the slanted roof room - for me it was a little room under the stairs.

  16. Lovely poem, and nice to have something else to relate to Heidi as I too only have the badly dubbed 70s version to go on...

  17. This is a lovely piece of memory, Dana. You've brought it all here.

  18. What a nice, clever, quiet little poem. I read Heidi as a kid and also watched the same version on TV that DFTP did! The grandpa always scared me a bit.


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