2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

If you’re feeling worn out by poeming this month, don’t worry: We’re completing our fourth week of prompts today. Only two days left after today’s poem, so dig deep and try to get those last few amazing lines.

For today’s prompt, write a “what really happened” poem. Use a real event (or an event from a popular movie) and spin it in another direction. Or use an event described in one of your poems earlier this month and spin it in a new direction. Or refute something that was never even in question. Or just poem any way that you can, because we’re almost to the finish line.

Here’s my attempt:

“Approaching vehicles”

The curve of lights. The mad dash. That
deer waited, and you tried to steer
in another direction, but
it chased you down, because your car
was needed to push it beyond
this sphere and into the next world.
Believe me, that deer flew further
than a ditch; it traveled through dreams
of children and nightmares of men
and women to a place where death
is only leaves caught in a fence
waiting for something to free them.


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113 thoughts on “2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

  1. S.E.Ingraham

    The Truth of the Matter

    With cell-phone reporting and wiki-leaks
    And mass media plus social networking
    In addition to all the traditional forms
    Of communication and news gathering
    Is it any wonder we are often left wondering
    What really happened?

    In less than an hour, a story hear on CNN
    Will be told differently on Fox News
    Might be repeated differently again
    With slightly different context on The View
    By which time, FaceBook friends will be
    Posting their interpretations to their walls

    Then the Twitterers will begin tweeting
    Like mad and most of them will have a
    Unique perspective on whatever it is
    They think they’ve heard and so on

    It becomes like playing telephone when
    You were a kid, whispering something
    Into one person’s ear and then that person
    Whispers what they think they heard into
    The next person’s and so on, all around
    A circle until, “Sherry wears red pyjamas”
    Ends up being heard as something like,
    “Sara swears she said he pees llamas”
    Or something else, equally ludicrous

  2. Monica Martin

    What really happened
    in those woods back
    there, back behind the
    general store, all those
    years ago? Witches,
    black magic, children,
    rumors. Was it all
    true, or just a smear
    of the new foreigners?

  3. AC Leming


    Blame the snow
    for hiding the rage lodged
    within the girl

    who looks at
    the small village around her
    and sees nothing

    to give her hope
    that she will escape.
    Can she escape

    the hate she carries
    packed tight in the chambers
    of her heart?

  4. Jeanne Rogers

    November 28, 2010


    You should have heard
    the story at the café, how
    the mom accidently shot
    her 13-year-old son. They were hunting,
    done for the day, unloading rifles.
    Hers discharged, and oh
    how she is chastised, said to have
    broken the first rule of gun safety:
    Never point your gun at something
    you don’t want to shoot.
    One shot, he died.
    How he was in the danger zone
    she cannot say, her deepest-longest-forever wish
    to recall the day just as her rifle is recalled
    for a design flaw.

  5. Yoly

    It’s a Wonderful Life

    Clarence lives in Bedford Falls. His house
    was financed by Bailey’s Building and Loans.
    George Bailey and family live next door.
    The Bailey’s love having Clarence over for Sunday
    supper, the children’s birthday parties
    and especially at Christmas time. Clarence
    was unmarried and starved for a wife
    until he turned 68 years old when he met
    a beautiful widowed woman named Ilsa Lund.
    Clarence swore he was dreaming when Ilsa
    accepted his marriage proposal. The wedding
    theme was” A Night in Paris”
    At the reception party, George, the best man,
    raised his champagne glass and gave a poignant
    toast. Little white feathers began to drift
    from no specific place and settled on Clarence.

  6. Mike Bayles

    What They Want

    The slant of light’s a calling,
    first frost, the chill of breezes,
    and with instincts stirring
    they take to sky,
    with the strongest in front of the “V”
    and one to the side giving direction
    a pecking order in flight
    breaking wind under gray clouds,
    apparitions of a season
    when they shun the north winds and snow,
    while Heaven bound
    their honking cries resonate
    they want a new land
    they want a bounty of food
    they want to take pause
    and bask in a promised land
    before they start again.

  7. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    an excersize in simultaneous conversation
    (in print the husband/wife words would read side by side)

    Conversations in Suicide
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder


    It’s better this way.
    It was so easy, hardly hurt.

    Put the gun to my head
    and suddenly it’s over.

    I thought I would be happy.

    I thought it would be better,

    but it’s not.


    (How could you do this to me?)

    (The first few days were numbing.)

    (Then came the service
    and the pain of realization.)

    (I’m so afraid now, and so lonesome.)

    (I miss him so much. It’s unbearable.)

    (I’m thinking of maybe joining you,
    anything’s got to be better than this

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  8. Sam Nielson

    What Really Happened

    They say history is written
    By the victors
    But in case of no war
    Who writes history?

    Who wants to write about
    The daily stuff we all face;
    The getting dressed in the
    Morning, the long time
    Spent waiting for stoplights
    Or a meeting that should end.

    My grandfather kept in his pocket
    A knife and a peach pit to carve
    For just such moments to
    Keep himself productive.

    Did your grandfather in
    Industrial America
    Hate his daily walk to work?
    Did your great grandmother
    Chafe at the sexist society
    Of her day?

    Yes we are born, get married
    Have babies, all worthy
    Of notation, no denying.
    But who will note it down?

    Yes, I write, but mostly
    These little things here, not
    Really very telling of me
    Yes, I write poems.
    What do you make of it
    You who live 20 years from now?

  9. vivienne blake

    Enough already – for BigTent Prompt Nov 29 and a titbit for the penultimate day of PAD

    My poetry’s becoming a bore
    I don’t think I can write any more.
    A poem a day for Poetic Asides –
    far too much for this bleary-eyed
    old bat –
    it may cure me for ever
    wait until Friday,
    which may well be my day
    to write odes and sonnets galore.

  10. Linda Goin

    Vivienne — thank you! I’m not posting on my blog for this month — I am posting at my FaceBook account…which is private. I’m serious about editing this bunch and doing something with it…a poetic memoir.

    And, I’m sorry I haven’t been around to comment…just started a new job the same day this poetic challenge started. I’m still writing, just getting out more as the executive director of a Main Street program. Intense!

  11. Terri French


    I blamed myself for the divorce
    after all I was the one like
    Hester Prynne standing on
    a scaffold in the middle of town square
    held to contempt and ridicule

    Nobody saw my years of devotion
    Nobody saw the loneliness that grew
    as I was placed further and further
    down the list of "To do’s"
    There was only one way he wanted
    "to do" me and it was no longer enough

    And so I strayed and I’ve paid
    and I’ve begged forgiveness from God
    and anyone else who will listen and
    I’ve worn the sack cloth and thrown the ashes
    and given my lonely soul a beating
    while it screamed out hungry for love

    It took a long time for me to gain
    forgiveness from myself
    It took a long time for the fog to clear
    It took a long time to realize it didn’t matter
    what anybody else thought of me
    It took a long time for me to accept my part
    in the fiasco that had become our marriage

    Finally, I saw things clearly
    how they really happened
    There was blame enough to be shared
    Blame enough to be forgiven
    and thankfully love enough to move on


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