2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

Good morning, everyone! I always feel like the first few steps are the most difficult, so anyone who’s made it through Day 3 should feel pretty good about their chances of making it through the whole month.

Before we get into today’s prompt, here are a few things to check out:

  1. My thoughts on commenting on this blog. I love the interaction between poets, but let’s please try to avoid calling names, touching each other, and otherwise imitating my four boys when they’re bored. Let’s keep the focus on poeming.
  2. Anders Bylund’s super useful search tool. Anders contributes this tool for free, and it works great for helping poets find the poems they’ve submitted for the month.


Today’s prompt is to write a poem in which you imagine the world without you. Since my favorite movie (It’s a Wonderful Life) plays with this idea, I’m surprised I’ve never used this prompt before. The world could be a much worse place without you, could be pretty much the same, or I guess, it could even be better. Anyway, it’s interesting to contemplate our individual contributions to this planet in ways small and large.

Here’s my attempt:

“The scar above my right eye”

The one from when I was in a car accident
as a baby in my unsecured baby seat–
because many car owners removed their seat belts
completely or tucked them into the cracks where food
often slips–reminds me blood once covered my face
before I could say blood, reminds me my brother
dangled upside down screaming his head off, reminds
me my mother was going to kill my father,
but then, the doctor stitched my skin back together
and sent me home without obvious brain damage.

The scar whispers to me when I brush my teeth or
wash my hands, “Remember what I prevented, what
I could have taken away,” and I can’t help but
consider it: the moments caught alone with my
father when I’d rather be anywhere else, fights
with my brothers, breaking up with girlfriends, losing
my patience with my own children, feeling submerged
by a faceless wave of responsibility,
standing barefoot in the snow with my brothers to
see who was tougher, falling asleep on the couch
while watching college football with my infant sons,
floating across the earth with each new flame, and then,
my fingers touch the scar and I whisper, “Thank you.”


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Want a great poetry instruction book?
Check out Sage Cohen’s Writing the Life Poetic. It is filled with great instruction on both the craft and business of writing, including poetry prompts, poetic forms, and more.

Click here to learn more.

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

0 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

  1. Mich Rygiel

    A World Without Me?!

    A world without me?!?
    How could that be?
    Am I not the center of it all?
    Without me, wouldn’t it all fall?
    If not for me, wouldn’t the earth off its axis tilt?
    In my absence, wouldn’t all the flowers wilt?
    A world without me?!?
    How could that be?
    I have to say with all humility.
    It’s hard to see the possibility.

  2. mallora

    I’ve finally taken a look at some of the other work here – what a fantastic read!! Thank you everyone for such inspiration. Walt – so fun to think we were thinking of not thinking at what must have been close to the same time . Smiles. 🙂

  3. Mich Rygiel

    Goofy Poem
    Goofy was never one of my faves
    I think I never got that he was a dog
    He just seemed like a big dope with long ears

    Serious Poem
    Sirius – now that was a dog!
    Goofy may have been a star
    But Sirius was made of stars.
    And now he makes music.

  4. Mich Rygiel

    A World Without Me?!

    A world without me?!?
    How could that be?
    Am I not the center of it all?
    Without me, wouldn’t it all fall?
    If not for me, wouldn’t the earth off its axis tilt?
    In my absence, wouldn’t all the flowers wilt?
    A world without me?!?
    How could that be?
    I have to say with all humility.
    It’s hard to see the possibility.

  5. Chimnese

    If I wasn’t here

    If I wasn’t here,
    I wouldn’t feel pain,
    If I weren’t here I wouldn’t cry,
    If I wasn’t here I wouldn’t be broken,
    If I wasn’t born,
    I just might have felt more whole.
    If I wasn’t here at all.

  6. S.E.Ingraham

    Had I Not Lived

    There was I time
    I would have said
    It wouldn’t have
    Made much difference

    Back in my very bad
    Times, spent putting
    One foot in front
    Of the other

    But after a few
    Better, even good
    Years — had I not lived
    One man and two girls

    Would have been
    The poorer for
    Not having had
    Me in their lives

    I know this because
    They tell me so
    In moments
    Of weakness

    Had I not lived
    Some gossips I am acquainted with
    Would have been denied
    Rich amounts of material

    Every time I
    Stepped off the curb
    In a new and spectacular

    And even some friends
    And acquaintances
    Would not have had the
    Heart-warming feeling

    That can only be gained
    By helping one as needy
    As I know I tended to be

    Had I not lived
    I believe a great number
    Of people might not
    Be the kind, compassionate
    Folks they turned out to be

    I could be wrong
    Entirely – maybe most of them
    Would have found another
    Needy, hopeless, helpless
    Type to care for …
    Had I not lived, who knows?

  7. Rose Anna Hines

    I wrestled with my brain for many a day.
    It said, "Hell no I won’t play,
    Tell your sneaky muses to stay away.
    I don’t want to die.
    I want here on earth to stay.
    I don’t like ashes or dust
    so don’t in the ground let me lay.
    NO crossing over to some other place
    NO WAY!"

  8. G. Smith

    (A Cinquain)
    (c) 2011 G. Smith

    Blank and notebooks
    Empty, still on the shelves.
    Pens in other hands, and these words

  9. Holly Matison

    You Without Me

    You would walk alone
    Desperation and unhappiness would engulf your days
    All that was yours would be taken away
    Your ability to fight would fade
    Your cigarettes would consume you
    Your soul would slowly turn as black as the coffee you drink
    All things would become meaningless
    And you would wander in circles
    As if a dog chasing his tail
    Or a shadow lost in the desert
    Climbing dune after dune
    Without me you would be all alone.

    (Fear not … I am here to stay)


  10. ChapLynn

    A moment out of time

    Woke up in pain with a severe migraine
    couldn’t close my eyes
    memories remained
    Tears released
    pain increased
    White coats
    Sterile hands
    Lights out
    Peaceful illumination
    Encountered the supernatural without hesitation
    Newborn, life torn
    Please let me live!
    My life I will give.
    Moniters beep
    Angels at my feet
    It is more real than it seems
    when I died, it was a living dream
    and nobody knows it but me

  11. Scott Mesrobian


    My father drove a car when he was young
    A “deathtrap” it was called, unsafe and murderous.
    Before there were children and bicycles and playrooms
    full of toys and games,
    The car held my parents in its loose and carefree embrace.

    One day my father drove to the airport
    To pick up the couple who became my grandparents,
    The axle broke, the front end flew up,
    the car crashed.
    The blood from my father’s face stained his shirt,
    But his eyes never closed, and his legs carried him
    away from the wreckage.

    In the moment his life was spared,
    so was mine.
    A young boy would have a playmate on a street
    filled with girls.
    A girl would always have an older brother.
    Four high school friends would not be three.

    The work of many would not be less by one
    Songs and stories and laughter soared in
    a single voice amidst a crowd.
    And the joy of days spent with friendship and fellowship,
    Love and strength and the faith of a warm soft hand,
    was not erased from future’s past.

  12. LBC


    I am but one in 6 billion people that populate this planet,
    One single person who would not be missed.
    I have not carved my niche
    nor left my signature in permanent ink,
    I am one single undiscovered no one.
    Should my fragrance blow away in the wind,
    waters of the sea erase my footprints,
    the dawning of a new day extinguish my starlight,
    the loss would go unnoticed.
    I am expendable, nonessential;
    my elimination would not upset the tilted unbalance of the universe,
    except in my minuscule world where my name is equated
    with kindness, caring, sincerity, and love.
    Regret and sadness would run deep with my extinction,
    for without my attempts to polish each day to shimmers and glimmers
    my world would be missing
    that one sunshine diamond sparkle in the fresh fallen snow
    creating a need for sunglasses and generating a spontaneous smile.

  13. Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 3
    the world without me

    By me.
    I glide through the day
    a shadow on walls,
    some walls don’t matter
    as I scatter like rainfall.
    My day of no more,
    with my wife and my son,
    do they laugh? do they cry,
    less the longer I’m gone?
    when mornings are days
    and days become years
    do they miss me? tear for me?
    only I now, shed tears?
    a world without me
    is ok it would seem
    but wife and our child
    then but only a dream?
    leave me, take me,
    throw me away,
    gaia’s billions won’t miss me
    even one day.
    But to my wife, dear sweet lover,
    and another, perhaps,
    Bring our son, our sweet boy
    and his oh special light.
    © April 3, 2011  Joseph Beckman


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.