Hillie Sorts It Out

Susan Lendroth

Image of Susan Lendroth

Susan Lendroth

The rain had dried up – 
every drip, every puddle – 
but Hillie couldn't go out 
while her room was a muddle. 

Mom had been clear, and 
her dad had agreed, 
"First, clean up this room!" 
they both had decreed. 

"But, Mom," Hillie called 
from her bedroom door, 
"Straightening up is 
my least favorite chore!" 

Where lay the challenge – 
or inspiration – 
of lining things up in 
perfect formation? 

But wait... Hillie thought, 
hold on to your hat! 
"There's more than one way 
to group this with that!" 

Hillie dove into her 
closet and under the bed, 
tossing kit and kaboodle 
of stuff overhead. 

Putting green frogs in shoes, 
red balls in red rockets, 
and blue marbles and rings 
in navy vest pockets. 

Her room was a rainbow, 
red, yellow and violet, 
from bottom to top 
she'd completely restyled it. 

Hillie said with delight, 
"I've created a wonder!" 
but "Straighten this room!" 
boomed her father like thunder. 

Hillie's snout drooped, and 
her back spines did, too. 
What else could a clever 
Young dinosaur do? 

"I know!" Hillie cried, 
with a snap of her claws; 
and she built a new pile 
without further pause. 

Dropping nickels on saucers, 
and board games on books; 
pencils and drumsticks 
with belts pulled from hooks. 

Rectangles were layered 
as neatly as bricks; 
straight stuff and round stuff – 
each had its own mix. 

But it took but one look, 
for Mom to cry in distress, 
"Hillie, when will you start
to clean up all this mess?" 

Hillie sorted by size 
and type of collection, 
but none of her efforts 
passed her parents' inspection. 

With a sigh, Hillie said, 
"I give up. Okay? 
I'll clean up my room 
the dinosaur way." 

Boots went with baseballs, 
and mirrors with mittens, 
crayons joined crackers, 
and kite tails wrapped kittens. 

Her parents peeked in 
and beamed wide with pride, 
"We knew you could do it! Time 
to go play outside." 

Hillie said as she left,
"I really don't get 
why dinos must sort stuff 
by the ALPHABET!"


Susan Lendroth's poem, "Hillie Sorts It Out," was originally published in Short Edition’s July '19 Rendez-Vous. Susan writes for adults and children, including picture books. She loves history, mystery and finding rhyme in unexpected subjects.
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