SOL2015 March 4 Ruby Delfonzo's Lunch Box Is Missing

As writers we understand the importance of observation. Our eyes, our ears must be be alert to potential ideas, for we may be visited by a gem of an idea at any moment. We are gatherers, collectors. It is this action that sustains us...

A lunchtime announcement in a school often floats above the consciousness of its  intended audience.  The noise of the playground, conversations among teachers across their often busy lunch break, all diminish the impact of the message. The words become wallpaper.

As I sat in a school staff-room the following announcement was shared over the speakers.

‘If anyone has seen Ruby Delfonzo’s lunch could they bring it to the office please. The lunchbox is bright red with green tipped corners and a bright green handle.’

I grinned as I listened to this brief announcement. For me, it was brimming with potential. It was gold. My mind whirred into action. What a great name, I thought. Ruby Delfonzo sounds like a character in a novel. Distinctive, unforgettable. It's such a strong name. The lunchbox description built a strong visual image. And clearly this was no ordinary lunchbox with its contrasting colours. Probably hard to lose, I thought.

Maybe I was alone in my speculative musing. No matter. I started to roll these delicious words around in my head.  I was well aware that I had begun rehearsing ideas. They were never going to escape. My mind came alive to possibility. A writing idea was forming in my head and I was more than happy to entertain it. Before I left the school, I already had decided that a poem would be a suitable response to the ground swell of ideas. My poem was well formed before I arrived home.

This is my raw response. A short little poem involving a mythical child named Ruby.

Ruby Delfonzo’s Lunchbox

Ruby Delfonzo’s lunch box is missing
And Ruby Delfonzo is barking mad
Who stole my lunchbox?
Who stole my lunchbox?

Oh, there it is.


  1. Ruby Delfonzo!!!??? Wasn't she in a movie with Vinnie Boombatz?
    This is just too good. I can picture a smile forming during the announcement.

  2. I love how you think, Alan. You really did enlighten the thinking of a writer's mind and then made it real in your simple poem.

  3. When I saw your title, I had to know more about Ruby Delfonzo. What an absolutely delightful name and yes, I can see how your mental wheels were spinning in high gear. Loved the barking mad phrase and the ending, priceless!

  4. Love this story, which could only happen in an elementary school. I remember a time I lost my glasses; my family looked everywhere. I was wearing them!


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