2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

I just returned from a 20-hour road trip. Since I need a little time to get sleepy after loading up on caffeine, I might as well get this month’s challenge started early. Click here for April Poem-A-Day Challenge guidelines.


For today’s prompt, write a “what got you here” poem. For instance, write a poem about a mode of transportation like your car, bike, horse, etc. Or write a poem about what “got you here” as a human being or writer (like what got you started writing, perhaps). Or write a poem about what brought you to this blog. Or whatever other interpretation you might have.

Here’s my attempt:

“Raising Dough”

Early in the morning, the baker blames his irritability on his wife,
who snores through the night and faults her five grandchildren, who
run her ragged in the afternoons, though they observe that their
problems start at school with their teachers, who keep the children
confined to their desks and who blame a test-driven principal, who
acknowledges her stern manner is a result of her husband, who very
openly flirts with the town’s only doctor, who would reject his advances
if not for her own husband, who is constantly on the road attempting
to sell more units for his boss, who blames his money-focused approach
to life on his shabby upbringing by his father, who often lost jobs
(and even a finger once in a car factory) while daydreaming about
becoming a great writer like his favorite poet, who chose composing
stanzas over spreadsheets and as a result found himself often worried
late into the evenings about how he would manage to pay his rent
while realizing he had absolutely no one left to blame save himself.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

Also, if you want to report or share your April PAD Challenge progress on Twitter, use the #aprpad hashtag.


Want to publish your poetry?
If you want to take the poetry you’ve written and get it published, I recommend checking out the 2011 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer (yes, that’s me!). Poet’s Market is packed with hundreds of publishing opportunities and articles on how to place your poetry, connect with readers, give poetry readings, and more.

Click here to check it out.

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309 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

  1. Shannon Lockard

    Day 1 4/1/2011 "what got you here"

    She Liked My Poem

    Just me,
    I wrote for my poetry project in 6th grade.
    A poem made up of few lines,
    But all the guts and inerds from my soul.
    I pored over ever word and syllable,
    Scared to reveal the fears and resignations I had
    About me, I was afraid to let anyone see.
    But I turned in that poem,
    Yearning for approval and acceptance,
    And maybe for my teacher to tell me
    What I had written was wrong.
    Maybe I wasn’t just me,
    Maybe there was greatness somewhere
    A greatness I could not see because I was eleven.
    She didn’t.
    She confirmed my own fears
    But, she did like my poem.

  2. Michelle Guerra

    Why a writer?
    I write because when I was a little girl I used to play out my stories with my Barbie’s.
    I write because a teacher once told me I could be good at it.
    I write because I once had a teacher that sent my poem in and it was published when I was only 15.
    I write because an idea fills my mind, and I cannot sleep until I write it down.
    I write because it is relaxing, as funny and crazy as it sounds.
    I write because if I didn’t write I would not know what else to do.
    I write because I love the thrill of typing the end.
    I write because I just cannot, not write.
    By Michelle Guerra

  3. Rose Anna Hines

    As a child, teenager and even college student
    I dreaded writing.
    It was tedious, an organization of others research.
    I remember book reports, term papers…
    "Give me the facts miss, only the facts."

    I never remember writing anything just out of my imagination.
    I don’t remember making up stories
    maybe when a child while playing; with toys.
    Now this seems so odd, because I loved to read
    stories, myths, novels of all sorts.

    As a Physical Therapist I became involved as a teacher
    in a full contact self defense program.
    95% of the women in the program
    were survivors of kidnapping, rape, abuse, molestation…..
    women who had been stabbed, thrown over cliffs,
    beaten, burned, as children locked for days in closets….
    Sent by their psychologists
    because their imprisonment
    was etched in their bodies, their cells as well as their minds.

    As the instructor, to inch these battered women encased in fear and isolation
    away from their past, their voices were where we started.
    "NO" was their first word.
    At first their voices would be gossamer whispers.
    Second was to find some thing for them to fight for,
    usually it was to defend and protect their daughters
    which often lead to them protecting their own inner little girls.

    Writing became their voice
    At first reading out loud to the group
    their thoughts and feelings.
    Since each member of the group wrote,
    I felt I also should also write.
    With their group ally-coaches and instructors
    their voices became strong
    resounding their power and victories.

    In the last combat, each faced their worse nemesis,
    their nightmare, the worse experience from their past.
    It was simulated by the padded mugger,
    but they were not alone,
    all their classes voices and the instructor’s voice
    coached them through the re-inactment.
    While their voices, their words, their committed bodies
    exploded with rage, betrayal, injustice
    and they knocked out the assailant.

    NO LONGER, a picture of a punny, weak, helpless
    victim imprinted in their mind.
    But one of a warrior, a fighter, a champion,
    now embossed over the old picture.
    Writing, Words, support and action changed their lives
    and mine because now more than twenty years later
    I am still writing because words and thoughts
    are energy which changes lives.
    Rose Anna

    This is one of the poems I wrote for women in the class
    One who chooses when
    and who to engage in battle while,
    taking and keeping control

    The warrior
    protects their boundaries
    stands their ground
    guards those weaker
    does not give up until the task is done

    The warrior slays dragons and ogres
    most often menacing demons
    lurking in the shadow of yesterdays
    dragons whose very breath burns
    the flesh of dreams and self
    ogres that still the heart
    demons that suck the spirit out of the marrow
    and freeze limbs

    The weapons of these warriors however
    are of A metal stronger than steel
    It is an amalgamation of courage,
    spirit, which
    can match any sword

    The warriors oath is
    I will stand my ground
    I will do what ever it takes
    I will be true to myself
    I will complete what I start
    I will focus each blow
    I will be in charge of my choices
    I will honor and use my power wisely
    I will smite those that steal laughter
    I will battle those that violate bodies
    I will slaughter those who shatter innocense
    I will destroy those who ravage trust
    I will demolish those who defile curious, open minds
    even in myself

    I will fight only as a last resort

  4. ChapLynn

    I am here

    Six days and a rest – created
    My mother being blessed – conceived
    My life being stressed – deceived
    My sins I confessed – believed
    Gave God my best – perceived
    He did the rest – relieved
    Life came together like a poetry slam
    with the good, bad and the ugly
    I am that I am
    Here I am


  5. Scott Mesrobian

    Fool’s Folly

    As a child, the books were large and sturdy,
    Able to withstand a young boy’s way
    Of reading with the force of backyard play.

    In the first grade, a story the boy wrote
    Brought words from a teacher who
    Told him it was cute and drew a smile.

    The teenager read the dog-eared paperbacks
    Assigned in school as homework and read
    Them quickly, the words racing from the page
    Through his eyes and passing in and out of his head.

    The classics were absent in college, giving way
    To books of science and hard fact;

    Years turned like the pages of unread novels
    Until time came back to the beginning,
    When the boy became a man and
    where his words began on page one.

    People told him he was a fool,
    “The time has passed for such folly,” they said.
    But now is the time, he said, and I have words to say.

  6. Ariel

    What Got You Here

    It was the backstage flirting that led to this point,
    trying to angle a weekend date
    with the brown-haired minor character;
    the rules of which dictated
    a playful aside to Wild Bill
    A flirt that led to a Friday night
    that led to a week and a month
    and a summer and housekeys

    that led to a December night
    twenty years later
    watching your curtain.

    April 1, 2011

  7. Holly Matison

    The Drive Home

    The chair I sit in brings comfort
    It reclines, swivels and rocks
    It comforts me
    Both cats purr
    One keeping my legs warm
    The other my neck
    How did I get here?
    A 13 hour drive home
    Crammed in a car
    With no leg room
    Only a dirty sweatshirt to keep me warm
    I missed my chair.

    ~ HLM

  8. Amy T-P

    How Did I Get Here?

    With burgeoning belly and swollen breasts
    Forgetting your name and which car to take to the mechanic
    Lost in a town where I’ve lived most my life
    Feeling everything and nothing at once
    Wondering when the joy kicks in and euphoria begins
    To overshadow the exhaustion
    Waiting to connect to the stories
    And embrace this new role of life.