National Poetry Month: A marriage proposal to Dennis Lee, missing Mr. Dressup


Alligator Pie Poet

Alligator pie, alligator pie,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna die. 
Give away the green grass, give away the sky, 
But don't give away my alligator pie.

Alligator stew, alligator stew,
If I don't get some I don't know what I'll do.
Give away my furry hat, give away my shoe,
But don't give away my alligator stew.

Alligator soup, alligator soup,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna droop.
Give away my hockey stick, give away my hoop,
But don't give away my alligator soup.

Dennis Lee

Marriage Proposal  

Dennis Lee, come marry me
Unless you've got something
Against bigamy

What a higglety pigglety pair
We could make
You with your Alligator Pie
Me with my mocha maple chocolate cake.


For those who do not get it, the cake is a reference to the cake in Sleeping Dragons All Around. I was writing it the same time I did my MA thesis on Dennis Lee and Canadian children's poetry back in 1988. Lee's poetic vision, essays and adult poetry influenced me as much as his children's verse.

Yes,  I actually recited this poem to him once. He politely declined my marriage proposal.    

I still learn from Lee's polyphony. Here's a fabulous interview by Andrew Pyper.

As for marriage proposals to gentle men who never lost the spark of their inner child, I moved on.


 I miss you and still love you sweet Ernie Coombs. Heart of a poet and door-opener of imagination.