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:
- 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.
- 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.