Brenda Lempp

41 N. Yellowstone Drive
Madison, WI 53705


I am a journalist by trade with a B.A. from Franklin College in Indiana. I have lived in Wisconsin for almost 30 years and have been a long-time member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and the Wisconsin Writers Association.  I was the editor, with Coral Bishop, of the 2016 Wisconsin Poets' Calendar.  I have also been a group leader for the Segoe Poets for 25 years at Madison's West Side Senior Center.  I enjoyed doing poetry workshops in the public schools while my children were growing up. Most recently I was a preschool teacher and now enjoy babysitting my 2-year old grandson full time.

I enjoy writing family poems, which I have published in two chapbooks, Yellow Smiles and Collecting Memories, as well as nature poems and haiku. I am also a member of the Haiku Society of America.

Yellow Smiles (chapbook).
Collecting Memories (chapbook).



seeing myself
outside the mirror

-- Originally published in frogpond Volume 38:2

Collecting Memories                   

Wandering through the antique shop,
we search shelf after shelf, room after room.
Mom collects salt and pepper shakers,
Betty Boop trivia and movie star dolls.
Dad looks through the toys
for novelty radios sometimes
shaped like a ketchup bottle,
a Raggedy Ann, or a spice rack.

I find a small tin globe bank
with the plug missing on the bottom,
just like I had when I was a kid.
Next to it is a Partridge Family lunch box.
I look inside, almost expecting to see
a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
wrapped in wax paper.
On the floor nearby
I find steel skates
that clip onto your shoes,
like the ones I bought for 25¢
at a yard sale when I was nine.
Again I see myself first learning to skate
and hopping over the cracks
on our front sidewalk. 

Coming to a stop,
I find myself on the other side of the room
next to an aluminum dollhouse,
just like the one Cousin Teresa
fell on from my bunk bed
and flattened.
This one even had the same plastic furniture.

By the end of the day,
Dad has found a French fry radio,
and Mom a Betty Boop cookie jar.
I buy nothing, but I am happy.
I take home all the memories
I collected today.