Poetry Thursday: Mister Rogers is my home screen

fred "mister" rogers

I have Fred Rogers
on my phone.

When I turn it on,
there he is,
in his red zip cardigan 
and gray flannel slacks.

When I get a call,
he answers,
in his black dress socks,
a work shoe in one hand
a faded blue deck shoe
with white laces
beside him,
ready for today’s visit
to the Neighborhood
of Make-Believe.

People wonder
about that
when they see him.

Is he there
because I need 
a little magic in my life?

Because I need
to retreat
to a place that feels safe?

Because he brings
with his precision
and his pace
and his routine
and his place for everything
and everything
in its place?

Or do I think
that perhaps
he ups my irony cred
on the mean streets
of Hipsterville?

What is he doing there?

Yes, I say.
Yes and yes
and, alas,
yet again,

But mostly,
what he is doing there
is smiling.



  1. Fred Rogers has got to be smiling somewhere knowing that his spirit is living on — still helping and healing. When my kids were little and I had occasion to watch Mr. Rogers along with them. I remember feeling like he was helping me as much as he was helping my kids. His soothing, reassuring way was a balm to the spirit. My husband and I would joke about who needed Mr. Rogers more.

    Thanks for sharing your Mr. Rogers moments. Reading your lovely poem and remembering Fred Rogers makes me feel calmer already today! Even though he’s passed on — how cool that Fred Rogers’ spirit continues to have such healing power.

  2. Beautiful, Colleen.

    Fred Rogers lived near Carnegie Mellon campus, and some of my freaky college friends once went over and rang his doorbell to meet him or shake his hand or get his autograph or something.

    He invited them in for cookies.

  3. As I was reading through your verses, I thought “why of course she has him there because he must elicit a smile every time her phone rings”.
    It made me smile, too. Thanks for that.

  4. Wonderful. Although I’m from Canada, we have a soft spot for Mr. Rogers. I agree that he is a wonderful image to have on your phone.

    My favourite clip of him is the ocassion when he spoke to Congress about funding for children’s programming. He was magical in acknowledging children’s reality. What a great man.

  5. This poem brightened a gloomy, smoggy, post-insomnial groggy day for me here in Beijing. You and Fred Rogers both rock. And you both make me smile, too. Almost makes me wanna get an iphone and replace my sunny nokia sunflowers…

Comments are closed.