Running Back to Ludie
by Angela Johnson

A nameless narrator, through a series of poems, tells about her life with her father and aunt, her best friend, Vicki, and her longing for her estranged mother, Ludie. When Ludie makes contact and invites her daughter for a visit, the narrator conjures of memories of her mother, as she prepares for the fateful visit.

Although brief, the poems give a good sense of what life is like for the narrator. We know that she loves her father very much, even if she does get exasperated with him once in a while. We realize the conflicting emotions she has about her mother. And, we also learn about the secret crush she has on Vicki's brother.

The following is just one of the many poems found in this short, but intense book:

A Tea
The invitation said
A tea for Mothers and Daughters
I didn't even tell Lucille about it
and threw the evelope in the garbage
can beside the TV in Dad's office.
And I was happy when he found it
and looked like he might cry.
I'd stopped crying about being mom-free
but had to make sure nobody forgot about it --
and in the end wound up with Dad holding
a tea cup and cookies on his knees,
talking with women
about dress sizes and their husbands.

Reprinted from Running Back to Ludie by Angela Johnson. Scholastic Books: 2001. (page 5)

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