April PAD Challenge: Day 1

Soooooo, time to begin the April Poem-A-Day challenge! I can tell from the site traffic and personal emails waiting for me this morning that everyone is chomping at the bit to get started. I don’t blame you. This is exciting for me as well.

We’ll start off with a softball (no reason to pull any muscles on the first day of the challenge, right?): Since today is the first day of the month, write a poem about a first or a series of firsts. This first could be a first love, first job, first funeral, first marriage, first divorce, first child, first Wal-Mart shopping experience, etc. You could also flip this around to be a poem about beginnings (after all, the beginning of anything is also a first step in a process).

Since I promised I would write a poem-a-day to match the prompt-a-day, here’s a little poem I put together this morning about my first (and luckily only) cast.

“The Cast”

We kept it in a plastic bag
as if it were a comic book
or meat that needed freezing;
it hooked around my thumb
and traveled to my elbow–
the result of jumping a fence
too fast to chase down a ball
hit for a homer, my shoestring
caught and swung me to the ground
where a stone waited to fracture.
The rest of that summer, I
batted one-handed, played catcher,
and let everyone sign it.
I’ve never needed another,
and we never did find that ball.

Remember: You don’t need to write a “revised” poem; you just need to write a draft. Revision can wait until May.

Once you finish the poem, paste it into the comments below. Heck, you could just type the first draft right into the comments box. (If you do this though, copy and paste the draft somewhere else before posting–just in case any technical glitches erase your comments.)

But wait! There’s more!

Since I like to listen to classic rock stations that offer “Two for Tuesday” songs by the same band on Tuesday, well, I’m going to offer “Two for Tuesday” prompts. Woo-hoo!

If you’re not feeling that initial prompt, you can try this one instead. (But don’t feel obligated to write a poem for both prompts–unless you’re an overachiever.)

Extra prompt: Since today is also April Fool’s Day, write a prank poem. This could get very fun and very creative.

Okay, that’s enough for now. Get at it!

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298 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 1

  1. H. Marable

    First Job (Summer Soiled)

    During that summer, post-high school, pre-college
    I found myself working for minimum wage
    In the steamiest of environments: a hospital laundry
    Toiling for long hot days, handling soiled garments and linens
    In a time before AIDS, no thoughts or worries of infection
    Breathing air reminiscent of a garbage dump
    Yet no concerns of contamination.

  2. Taylor Graham

    “BLESS ITS CRADLE MOMENTS”

    A new year! a new year is born!
    – Elihu Burritt’s Journal, London, January 1, 1852

    Now, 156 New Years later – that many revolutions
    around the Sun, how many more around the globe –
    the first news I hear is a diplomat shot
    in Sudan, and hundreds dead in Kenya. All this

    before dawn, before I’ve milled Colombian beans
    to brew a bitter coffee. How goes the rain forest?
    Can our Spring bloom without neotropical birds?
    Shall swallows return to oak savannah?

    Last night, the neighbor’s fire-siren shrieked
    the midnight turning of the calendar.
    Will this new dispensation bring us fire storms,
    or just a cozy glow in the wood-stove?

    You were always hopeful, Elihu. It kept you
    in a forward spirit. On this first morning
    of the rest of this year, show me how
    to pray, like you, “bless its cradle moments!”

  3. S.E. Ingraham

    First Ballot Cast

    Democracy is nigh
    Allah be praised
    Today I will make my mark
    Allah be praised
    My brothers say I cannot
    Allah be praised
    I say they will not deter me
    Allah be praised
    My mother’s eyes will not meet mine
    Allah be praised
    Still, I imagine I see her smile
    Allah be praised
    Inside my burka, I hold my head high
    Allah be praised
    I am frightened but I am not afraid
    Allah be praised
    We are almost there
    Allah be praised
    I am going to cast my vote
    Allah be praised
    I hear gunfire; my knees are shaking
    Allah be praised
    Someone is wailing, someone has died
    Allah be praised
    I am in the booth, a pencil in my hand
    Allah be praised
    My soul soars over all that have gathered
    Allah be praised
    I am but a woman but I have voted
    Allah be praised

    S.E.Ingraham

    In memory of my sister of the soul, Behija Cudic, who gently reminded me, from time to time,just how lucky I was to live in a place where women take voting for granted.

  4. S.E. Ingraham

    April IS the cruellest month

    Most any other place
    Plays ordinary April fools
    Jokes, at least that’s
    What they tell me
    It’s only here
    Where one expects
    To see showers and flowers
    And wakes to bowers
    And drifts of that white stuff
    Not clouds, no
    Not fog or mist or dew
    Nothing so ephemeral
    As any of that
    Here in this place
    Crouched on the lip
    Of the Arctic Circle
    As some wise scribe
    Once penned
    April fools
    Are those who
    Continue to dwell
    Where snowfall
    Tries to set world records
    Every
    Single
    Year

    S.E.Ingraham

  5. Cheryl Wray

    Okay, so I didn’t get into the challenge until day 4, so I’m catching up. (Better late than never! 🙂

    "Firsts"

    the first time you

    make love,

    try sushi,

    give birth,

    step onto an airplane,

    step onto a stage,

    can be
    "oh my god,
    what do I do now?"
    scary

    but scary can become
    exhilarating, can become
    delicious, can become
    miraculous, can become
    spectacular, can become

    liberating

  6. mjdills

    The first rain in the spring
    Brings green to the hills.
    The snakes come out of the ditches,
    And the dust finally settles
    After a long winter.
    The first bright yellow flowers
    Bow from the primavera trees;
    The blossoms flutter to the ground
    Bruised from the rain.
    Bouganvilias sport bright new colors.
    The sky opens
    Pounds.
    The rivers fill.
    Six legged fellows visit the house.
    I recognize the heady scent of pepper
    And embrace the season.

  7. Robert Brewer

    HCM April Fool’s Day – April 1

    Wheezing, barely breathing, scared
    Not knowing what is happening to me
    Congestive heart failure
    Heart failing to pump blood
    Pulmonary edema
    Lungs filling with fluid
    Cardiac catheterization
    Blood vessels clean
    HCM
    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    Thickening of heart septum
    No cure – death

    by Toni Engstrom

    *****

    For Langston: My Teacher
    Go home and write
    A page tonight.
    And let that page come out of you–
    Then, it will be true.
    Years ago, that’s just what I did!
    “Occupations” was created after I read Theme from….
    It was the first poetry I ever got paid for and ironically it
    was published in the same magazine that featured
    Langston Hughes, the man of blues–
    Sitting at my typewriter I “let the page come out of me.”
    It was late at night, somewhere around three.
    B-o-o-m
    Machines SMASHING like thunder
    Z-o-o-m
    Wheels spinning
    Clocks ticking, deadlines to be met.
    The only poetry I had ever memorized on my own
    remained Words of Freedom.
    As months passed…writing faded
    similar to lives lived that had ended.
    But every now and then my teacher emerged.
    “What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”
    Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
    Or fester like a sore—
    And then run?
    On a small piece of paper, one day, that had
    fallen from an old dusty journal I read….
    Still Here
    I’ve been scared and battered
    My hopes the wind done scattered
    And said, “no dried up raisin here
    or shriveled up prune."
    I will let that page come out of me.
    because I learned Theme For English B.”
    by Barbara Tzetzo Gosch

    *****

    First Kiss

    He stood there kinda nervous,
    about to say "goodnight."
    when something just possessed him. . .
    It had to be tonight.

    He fumble to embrace her,
    then held her much too tight.
    ’cause something just possessed him. . .
    It had to be tonight.

    He drew her lips up close to his.
    She was a pretty sight..
    and something just possessed him. . .
    it had to be tonight!

    How wonderful that kiss was
    as everything went right,
    ’cause something just possessed them. . .
    It had to be tonight!

    Paul A. Ritter == 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    *****
    when we were making plans
    to move with the company
    i didn’t know it would be
    the first time i’d live in the south

    i didn’t know it would be
    the first time i’d get
    a kiss and a hug from
    every person i met

    i didn’t know either
    what it was like to
    survive a hurricane
    the biggest one ever

    didn’t know it’d
    be the first time
    i suffered a major health
    crisis before i could return

    couldn’t imagine
    i’d have two grandbabies
    by the time i
    got back

    never fathomed
    the yearning i’d have
    for a state where the
    winters are six months long

    by Jeaneene Nooney

    *****
    My First Poem

    My First poem
    Four Lines
    written a billion years ago
    I remember it still…
    The sun setting
    took me for a rollercoaster ride
    into heaven
    and left me feeling
    I am jetting
    towards destiny.

    Sally DiUlus
    *****
    Try, Try…No Firsts Here

    The first time I tried
    to send my poem through
    it didn’t happen
    and then I tried all the ways and means
    so that my work be seen,
    at least, if not read.
    When nothing worked,
    frustration roared, reared
    I wanted to bang the keyboard hard
    slam the screen I want my words
    upfront, I snarled
    the first time feeling thwarted
    then sniffed and said,
    these grapes will not be sour for me
    I shall carry on undaunted
    to try again
    and hope this spider
    the w.w.w. will finally succeed
    in getting me where I want,
    not climbing walls
    but scintillating on screen.

    Abha Iyengar
    *****
    My First Date

    Never in my wildest dreams
    I never would have thought this true
    To fall for her on our first date
    I hear dad’s words – “Just think it through.”

    But what is there to think about
    I know she is the one for me
    Her red hair wasn’t my first choice
    Her smile was all that I could see

    And now I know that ‘love is blind’
    That what I’m really after here
    A beauty that goes deeper
    And one that holds me prisoner

    We sealed the deal – tied the knot
    We’ve had two children since
    I wouldn’t trade this girl I’m with
    One date, one smile, I was convinced

    By Don Ford

    *****
    Encore!
    by Paula Fairbrother

    Sweaty palms
    And pulsing heart
    The stage is bare
    I play the part

    I sachet in
    The lights burn hot
    I fear my lines
    I have forgot

    I see the void
    The space out there
    I am wondering, "God,
    How is my hair?"

    I open my lips
    My eyes do flutter
    I hope I can speak
    Without a stutter

    The words fly out
    No mistakes are made
    I know I can stand
    Until the lights fade

    *****
    Here are some poems sent to my email inbox for Day 1.
    Best,
    Robert

  8. Maureen

    Falling for …

    It was my first time
    and I was not just a little bit nervous
    I was petrified!
    Afraid of heights
    but too proud to back out
    I allowed them to get me set up.
    They assured me it could take my weight
    it was perfectly safe.
    One of the leaders
    slowly backed me to the edge of the cliff
    “Now lean back” he said
    Yeah sure!
    But I did
    until I was at right angles to the cliff
    and slowly I started stepping down.
    My breath came out steccato,
    shaky and loud.
    I felt I was going to stop breathing soon
    but I kept going –
    as if I had a choice.
    When I finally reached the bottom
    my legs were shaking so much
    I could hardly stand
    but the euphoria
    was indescribable.
    I immediately made my way
    back up to the top
    and demanded to go again
    before I lost my nerve.
    I’m still smiling about it!

    © Maureen Sexton

  9. Michelle Cooper

    4/1/2008 5:41:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
    PEOPLE U DON’T FORGIVE CAN CONTROL U

    A while ago I learned
    People u don’t forgive can control u
    I’ve conditioned my strong mind over a period
    Of time not to let people phase me
    During my worst trials and tribulations in
    My life I was forced to stand firm on faith
    To let wrongful relatives and strangers know
    People u don’t forgive can control u
    Giving them power to ruin your day
    People u don’t forgive can control u
    Giving them power to take your thoughts away
    People u don’t forgive can control u
    Giving them power to make u stray
    People u don’t forgive can control u
    Giving them power to make u disobey
    People u don’t forgive can control u
    Giving them power to make u forget to pray
    PEOPLE U DON’T FORGIVE WILL CONTROL U

    Sorry this one got lost, but it don’t
    appear it was the only one.

    H.Michelle Cooper

  10. LindaTK

    This is my second attempt to post my poem for this prompt. I hope it "sticks" this time around…

    First Day of School

    Thirty-eight years
    Thirty-eight first days
    As a teacher
    New clothes
    New supplies
    New attitude
    New beginning
    Butterflies the size of pteradactyls
    Me too

  11. Hope Greene

    Fresh Breakfast

    This is a new one, certainly;
    the tiny tips of six fingers dipped
    delicately in Monday’s morning mush-
    and held motionless for the meal.

    Last week it was the cup thrust
    with gusto into the porridge bowl
    and a giggle for every wobbling
    blob launched onto mom.

  12. Bonnie MacAllister

    I tried to post this on the original day, but it seems it did not post then. So:

    Trundling for Zouhir

    On my mattress,
    We pulsed, separated
    By a polymer.
    Trundling.

    We first coupled
    On cracked red leather sofas
    Of some boîte
    Near the metro Charles de Gaulle Étoile.

    One friend told me that his French
    Was worse than his English.
    We scrapped sounds,
    Struck verlan in feet,
    Stressed with wrenched accents.

    We thieved the midday,
    Posed on stairwells
    Scurried past the Bastille,
    Breathed the thick rimy fog
    Down cobbled Denfert Rochereau.

    Zouhir’s scrubbed hands and face
    Revealed the Tunisia
    I could not translate.
    Sentences remained conditional,
    Flecked with inflections,
    Conjoined in bunk.

  13. Jesse Rose

    written about my first (and hopefully only) divorce…
    ——————————————————–

    It felt like an eternity without love,
    But when he left
    It broke my heart.
    My first love affair,
    My marriage,
    Was over.
    No more being held in his arms.
    No more (meaningless?) "I love you"s…
    How could it hurt so much
    When I thought it had meant so little?
    And why did it feel like death?

  14. Carol Pranschke

    Robert I don’t think my first one ever made it so write write again!

    miracle baby

    the chick was never supposed to make it
    they take the eggs every day
    and turn them into scrambled or poached
    yet this one the hen
    hotly protected
    never leaving the roost
    and one day the chick came out
    walking without fear on spindly legs
    a little puffball of black and brown
    out among the dogs, the roosters, the hens
    the mom came over
    and took it under its wing
    literally
    and they called the chick "miracle"

    the babies don’t always make it
    the ones born with a hole in their diaphragm
    just like my first son
    discovered on his first day of life
    taken to surgery within the first fourteen hours
    then laying in nicu
    cuddling with tubes for 7 days
    where i was allowed to stroke his finger
    the surgery was successful
    his lungs were okay
    they needed room to expand
    and he needed time to grow
    it was never clear he was going to make it
    when they released him to me
    they said it’s a "miracle"

  15. Monica Martin

    Prank

    I’ve never been one for practical jokes
    And I don’t participate in
    April Fools’ Day.
    I don’t take pleasure in
    Humiliating people.
    When is a prank ever
    Totally harmless?

  16. Monica Martin

    My First Love (for Richie Darling)

    My first love was in college
    And still is today.
    He broke down my walls
    And made me feel
    Like I could do anything,
    Be anyone.

    He gives me the strength
    To get through the day.
    He gives me the love I
    Never knew I needed
    Or thought I deserved.
    I can’t imagine being
    With any other man.

  17. Monica Martin

    I have a bunch of poems to submit today. I didn’t find this challenge until the ninth, so I’ve spent the past couple of days getting all caught up. Now I’m ready for submission!

  18. Barbara Torke

    Cat in the bathroom

    Oh wow
    Gee gee gee
    Mee me
    Me
    Warm in here
    by the heater we’re
    feel my fuzzy face
    whiskers rub and mark my space
    on your foot and leg
    I sit around
    happy I’m a furry flounder
    Kinda steamy
    Sit sit sit
    Me me me
    Pull my tail around your shin
    Scratch my ear
    I love your warm skin
    Press my lip against your knee
    Scratch my neck
    Yah me me me
    Here I sit on your fuzzy toes
    Oops there’s the flush
    For munchies we go

  19. Susan M. Bell

    Playing catch-up on the poems. Hope that’s ok. :}

    I Remember You

    As my life moves on I remember
    you. My first love, my first kiss,
    my first lover. I hold the memories
    in my heart. My soul is all the
    better for having known you.

    My life today is happy and full,
    and yet I still remember you.

  20. alison baldwin

    another day, the first time around

    the first time i open my mind to the day
    i keep my eyes closed
    and reflect on the last dream
    or at least the parts of it that i remember
    and depending on the nature of it
    i try to get back into it
    or stay the hell out

    and i go back to sleep again for the first time

    the second time i open my mind to the day
    i open my eyes for the first time
    and appreciate the day with new eyes
    or at least the parts of me that remember
    and depending on my present nature
    i get back to sleep
    or stay the hell up

    and i confront myself again for the first time

  21. Karen Masteller

    Our First Burglary

    Our first burglary–I must make this clear–
    We were not the ones burgling but the ones in fear.

    Well, not so much at first in fear,
    For it happened in broad daylight; it was sunny and clear.

    Our adequate apartment was a four-room suite.
    We even had resident cockroaches as an added treat.

    The apartment was empty for most of the day
    Which, I guess, left us open as easy prey.

    I was at work and my husband had a college class,
    That’s when the hooligans decided to trespass.

    The rest of the story should now make you grin
    As I relate the outcome of this random break-in.

    For you see as my husband returned from his day,
    He passed two teenagers in the apartment stairway.

    With a friendly greeting he said, "Hello"
    As they walked on by with a heavy load in tow.

    They too returned a friendly "Hey-how ya doin’?"
    Even though they were the ones who had just staged the break-in!

    When my husband reached our own apartment door,
    He found it ajar with things strewn on the floor.

    He then quickly put two and two together.
    What the teens carried off were our own 8-track and cassette players

    He lit off after them lickety-loo
    But they were long gone–so now what to do?

    We called the police and gave them stereo equipment stats;
    We really wanted them to catch the dirty rats!

    I know the greatest loss was the equipment we had to replace,
    But I was really annoyed ’cause they wrapped in in my brand new
    pillow case!

  22. SaraV

    Wanna hold your hand
    By Sara L Vinas

    Grew up shimmying
    and shaking to
    beatles "wanna hold your hand"
    and
    had the hugest crush
    on a mountain boy
    long blond hair
    it was that er-a
    in golden forest light
    we leaned against
    a fallen fir
    and spoke of teen angst
    Prickles of anticipation
    raced up my arm
    when I felt his fingers
    strong and warm
    claim my hand
    so many firsts ago
    but that golden day
    lingers
    I can feel
    his fingers
    and the thrill
    still

  23. Lyn

    Abnormal Results

    The doctor needs to see you in the next couple of days
    My hands clenched around the phone, knuckles white
    What for? Something had to be wrong with my lab work
    The nurse hesitated not wanting to give me bad news
    Just to check the abnormal results, do more tests.
    What does that mean! Less a question than exasperation
    I hate knowing there is bad news and not getting full information
    Can you come in tomorrow at 10:00
    Id have gone in right then
    The obstetrician, gynecologist and oncologist shared a waiting room
    And I was surrounded by expectant mothers in various stages of pregnancy
    When are you due? I endured the question
    Because they wanted to share in their bliss
    Oh, Im not pregnant my shell-shocked expression made them back off
    They left me sitting alone, a woman with a scarlet letter
    I didnt know what to expect
    Hated sitting on the exam table fully dressed and still over-exposed
    The results indicate you have cancer, well need a biopsy to be certain
    Biopsy surgery, Excision surgery
    Chemotherapy Id just rather have more surgery
    One week, Two weeks, 12 weeks
    Six months, One year
    Remission
    And for a lifetime dreading to hear
    Your lab results are abnormal

  24. Nikki

    You

    Amidst the crowd I saw you.
    Throwing cynicism aside for you,
    I believed in love at first sight for you.
    I followed you.
    Believed I had no chance with you.
    Fate sat me next to you.
    With shy boldness, I complimented you.
    Was that interest I seen in your eyes from you?
    The clock suddenly spun, astonishing you.
    With amazement, my eyes locked onto you.
    I thought there could never be anyone as beautiful as you.

    Curiosity and shyness flooded you,
    as I tried to turn away from you.
    Distractions could not tear me away from you.
    I broke down all walls for you.
    Finally I belonged to you.
    Complete openness to you.
    I lost all remaining innocence to you.
    Continued on in bliss of being completely in love with you.

    Suddenly a barrier was placed around you.
    I tried to make it go away, but it was coming from you.
    I was closed off completely from you.
    Desperately I tried to reach you,
    wondering what I did wrong to you.
    "It’s not you",
    I was assured by you
    Still the distance betrayed you.
    "I am moving away from here, from you,"
    was said by you.
    Was that a lie from you?
    Was that merely cowardice shown in you?
    "I have to break up with you."

    Yet, I still seen you.
    Desperately I tried to be with you.
    Embarrassed myself completely for you.
    An unwanted kiss that I placed on you.
    My friends were asked to be with you,
    and yet I wasn’t allowed to come near you.

    Many years later, I got phone calls from you.
    What a mistake that was made by you.
    "I am engaged to someone else," I told you.
    Did that break you?
    I never did get a straight answer from you.
    Until this day, I have dreams about you.
    When asleep, I can see every feature of you.
    My heart still pounds for you.
    Until I die, I’ll still love you.

  25. Joan Huffman

    Surgeons’ Log
    Entry One: Bilateral Orchidectomy

    A vase of tropical blooms,
    mockery,
    the extinction of pollination.

    Seed pods plucked
    from the leathered sac
    of a weathered veteran.

    Two stones once pulsed,
    hormonal courage,
    amidst mortar rain.

    Weapon’s chambers emptied,
    supply lines cut,
    ammo pouch sunken.

    No steel in his rod
    to a nightingale’s caress,
    No cannonballs to launch.

    Joan Huffman
    4/01/2008

  26. Jenny

    Bumpin’ Through Houston

    She was a ’73 Fiat
    Standard, cool
    Shifting gears makes it real
    Pea green box
    Headin’ down the road
    Houston, where potholes go to retire
    Hit that pothole on Bissonet again
    Radio station changes to country
    Need to hit another one
    Or suffer the twang
    Bang, there you go
    Station changes back to public
    Eclectic, not classical
    Kaboom, another pothole
    Windows fall open
    Push them back up
    I’ll need new ductape on them
    Before winter
    God that car was cool.

    Can’t wait to revise this one!

  27. Ric

    First base

    I wasn’t good, in fact
    I was awful.
    (Which is probably why I ever wrote a poem.)
    But I grew up thinking
    This is what you do
    If you’re a regular kid.
    So I stood in,
    10 years old, skinny and a long way from five feet tall,
    27 inch green aluminum Adirondack with the smooth black rubber handle
    (It was the smallest bat available)
    Gripped too tight, I’m sure.
    Everyone watching, even my dugout, with the assurance
    Here was another "easy out".
    But I stood in
    Against T.C.
    He was too big for a regular name,
    He was 15 yards away,
    And he threw hard.

    Swinging at a pitch,
    It was a conscious choice for me,
    Made long before the ball left the pitcher’s hand.
    His aim was true.
    My swing stopped
    The instant the fastball hit my bat–
    "Cloink!"
    –Arcing majestically
    (The tingling in my hands told me this one was off the wall)
    The ball cleared the infield
    And rolled gently into shallow center field.

    I rounded first and checked up,
    Just like Pete Rose.
    "Easy out my ass!"

  28. Ayodele Nzinga

    the front of the line
    no mans land
    where no one but you stands
    no path or foot steps
    you got to show ’em how to
    no one knows not even you
    but you in the front
    trauma coming and you’ll
    catch the sharps sent in
    your direction for percieved
    imperfection yet you projected
    self into the space not traveled
    you were the source of a
    mystery unraveled
    as they perfect
    what you detected
    as being possible
    you are first in line
    somewhere else

  29. Rodney C. Walmer

    April Fool’s Day. . .

    On April 1st I got pranked
    My teacher went up in rank
    He pranked me so bad
    He made me mad and sad
    So, I say to you,
    be careful on April Fool’s day!

    ©Mari Beth Walmer Written for Prompt 1. I am the 12th daughter of Rodney C. Walmer. This is
    my first published poem. Enjoy all.

  30. Linda Hofke

    Gigi

    She was the first and only,
    brown-haired, energetic,
    always happy to see me,
    always listened to me,
    always there when I was sad.
    Sure, she played with others,
    as did I, too,
    but at night
    she always slept with me
    in my bed,
    almost 15 years long.
    And now, 20 years later,
    the space she occupied
    is filled
    by a brown-haired man
    who is also loyal
    and true
    and who loves me
    just as much
    as my little brown puppy once did.

  31. dodinsky

    Not Today

    I greet my day
    with a pocketful
    of enthusiasm,
    but you come along
    with a sprinkling
    of your biting sarcasm.

    From your nostrils,
    dark clouds billow.
    Frogs start croaking;
    I need to get going.
    For today, I don’t intend to ride
    your mood swings.

    – dodinsky

  32. Lydia

    To John – The First Time We Met

    First time I saw you,
    I was struck and amazed,
    at what a perfect man,
    you were to me.

    We shook hands very properly,
    an ordinary thing that people do when they greet,
    then I followed you eagerly,
    feeling nothing ordinarly and at ease that first time we met.

    Never before had a job interview,
    Felt so informal, so friendly and warm.
    You were in a class that was all your own,
    And me, lucky girl, who got the job, got to see you every day.

    Loved talking to you even then,
    Your eyes, your smile, your joking and teasing ways,
    A genuine kindness, interest and care in all and me,
    I know I could never leave you now.

    That job is over,
    But our freindship is not,
    It has become much warmer, sometimes hot,
    Always real and still loving you too.

  33. Susan Reichert

    First Love

    This is when our whole life changes.
    Gone are all the reminders of our
    childhood now nothing else exists.
    Surely others can see it’s just us
    and how much in love we are.

    We talk of the days of forever when
    we’ll marry and add to our bliss
    at least two or three which of course
    must be a boy for you and a girl for
    me then our third can be either.

    We’ll make sure ours will last
    for so in love are we.
    Lest we forget you were my
    first and I was yours. So it is a must
    we grow old together and be each
    others last.

    Susan Reichert
    Day 1
    April 1

  34. Jay Sizemore

    My first taste

    It wasn’t liquid, it was a memory,
    my father’s exhaled breaths
    wrapped in the stubble
    of a good night kiss,
    from a face I never knew.

    Crawling in a world of giants
    and the foreign language
    of speaking,
    finding the empty cans
    littering the back yard,
    with the drops of gold
    caught in the rim of the lip,
    the cigarette butts
    that rattle like lost teeth
    with the scent of ash
    and aluminum,
    taken from my hands
    and replaced with
    a matchbox car.

    I never wanted it,
    it seemed too cliché,
    another Kentucky stereotype
    handed out like Bibles to kids
    in trailer parks or schools and quoted
    in statistics on the nightly news,
    another blight on the American Dream,
    but after high school it seemed
    like we made our own rules
    and the world
    was crashing down
    around us.

    I never wanted it,
    but it tasted like home.

  35. Shirley T.

    Seems all my posts have gone to the cyberspace "unclaimed file". But being no stranger to starting over, I’m taking it from the top.
    Again!

    Pas des Deux

    Sing the old songs,
    The ones we heard on AM radio
    When DJs spun a platter,
    And on first play we voted
    Hit? or Miss?

    Sing the old songs
    Of finger snaps, toe taps
    Heel clickin’, hips quicken to the
    Heart tug, tear mists of time;
    Back to the old place.
    You dropped a quarter
    In the juke box, whispering
    "This one’s for you",
    And once and forever
    We danced, a primal prom
    All our own.

    Sing the old songs;
    The old days,
    A new time.
    Start the dance.

  36. Connie Meng

    What a great idea! I meant to do something like this last November while my friends were writing novels, but it never got off the ground. I only just discovered this today, but I’ll try to catch up and keep up.

    —–

    The Novice Electorate

    That morning, I stepped outside
    into the trail of a storm of balloons,
    posters peppering the campus corridor,
    and streamers blown against the railing
    of the bridge to my former economics
    classroom, now turned polling place. The air

    so suddenly calm, even the leaves held still, as if
    waiting for permission to separate
    from the trees. Eagerly, I fell into line,
    and inexperienced, I leaned forward to study
    the poster diagramming the ballot, my open textbook
    forgotten in my hands; then, my turn came,

    my name announced, and I was gestured
    into a blue curtained booth, living replica
    of the postered lessons, and carefully,
    with appropriate solemnity, and for the first time,
    I ran my fingers over the paneled screen, depressed
    my choice buttons, checked my vote over
    as I would an exam before turning it in. So many hopes
    invested in the single motion, so many miles from
    the country – not a democracy – where I was born,

    such tears the next day, brisk and windy,
    leaves adrift, my candidate
    on television, conceding the presidency.

  37. Maureen

    FIRST KISS

    Now that we’ve kissed;
    how can I steady my heart
    when I’ve felt it for the first time
    and my body is begging for more
    and the sky is announcing
    the birth of a new star
    and flowers are opening their petals
    to bask in our warmth
    and trees are leaning closer
    and the moon is peeking through branches
    to light up your eyes
    and I can still feel your lips
    your mouth on mine
    and I have to drive away from you
    taking with me, a memory, a taste
    an aching in my body
    and the earth is so different now?

    © Maureen Sexton

  38. Steph B

    The first raspberry

    I remember my fascination
    at the mauve jewel on my grandmother’s ivory plate
    more beautiful than the now-crushed rose petals
    I scattered down the aisle with self-conscious precision.
    I was itching to pop it in my mouth
    and discover what treasure tasted like
    but I was too polite, too afraid to ask.
    I remember waking in my grandmother’s lap later,
    and finding my first missed opportunity
    in an empty ceramic plate.

  39. Kathy Kehrli

    My First Funeral

    The zealous anticipation
    Of blowing out eleven candles
    Wasn’t what held my breath
    That joyless April day.
    The rise and fall of your chest
    I swore I saw—
    God-begged was real—
    Choke-chained my inhalations.

    Instead of a plastic doll,
    Gussied up in vanilla cake
    And whip-whirled butter cream,
    It was you who got buried.
    Alas, resuscitating you
    Wasn’t quite as simple as licking
    Sugar frosting and batter crumbs
    From your rigid limbs.

    Out of grand-daughterly respect,
    I declined a celebration,
    But Mom, she late-night slipped me
    An unwrapped present anyway.
    That perfectly sided Rubik’s Cube
    Soon twisted into color chaos,
    Never to return to it unmarred state,
    Just like my innocence.

  40. MD

    Definitely not poetry but it’s my attempt…

    The phone rang very early in the morning!
    The girl on the phone said "mom, when the cops get there you don’t know where I am."
    The mom shrieked, wide awake now, "but I don’t know where you are or what you did."
    The girl said "good, then you won’t be lying" and quickly hung up the phone.
    The girl, who was a slightly rebelious teenager, was rolling on the floor laughing with her friends.
    When she calmed down again she phoned the mom back to say "April Fools Mom! I finally got you."
    And got you she did, you still tell people about it.
    The girl is still waiting for the retrobution that has been promised to her…

  41. Jessica Silfa

    My First Dinner

    It started with a bang
    a kick
    a clatter;
    The heavy pan dragged through the kitchen, turning my tiny fingers red
    I added everything I found in the refrigerator door:
    Spices mixed with cough syrup
    A pinch of ketchup stirred with tea
    A garnish of the holy water my grandmother kept
    in case the devil ever came a-knocking (or my father cooked a meal)
    I served my art in my mother’s china
    Next to orange juice mixed with milk
    "Dinner is served!" I grinned, so proud…

    My parents faked smiles while they slowly poured their meal down the drain
    and stained the sink pink

  42. Nancy N.

    My Granddaughter.

    Today is the end of normal and the start of something fantasitical.
    You, my dear child, were born.
    We found out there were problems and issues, but the did not matter as you were removed from Momma’s womb and cleaned up, that little jelly doughnut sitting on you back, translucent and winking with ear move of your body.

    Your voice and spirit are strong and we all vow to keep it that way.

  43. Lisa Cecil

    My writing has never been anymore than describing a scene as it takes life within my head. This day I was in a "silly" mood and wanted to write about a depressed state of mind, but each time the scene became funny, as did my mind responses.
    This poem is titled:

    The first time I tried to get "serious"

    i’m writing a poem that prints black and white
    cuz my colors are gone and money is tight
    the creeks flow not, the trees are bare
    and the flowers have yet to sprout
    the sun, no shine, the woods are bleak
    and no creatures up and about

    except for a skunk!..that wanders in
    now I begin to shout!
    get out of here you smelly skunk
    and take your black and white hair!
    if I’m to be in the woods like this
    at least allow me fresh air!

    I really should toss this one,

  44. Carol A Stephen

    April Fool!

    April and the morning light
    rise on the brink of spring

    snow and chill haunt memory
    recede from pride of place,

    but where is the sun?
    Hide ‘n seek his April game

    he peeks from curtains
    of mist, of rain:

    Another jest for April 1,
    Nature’s joke a cruel one.

    Carol A. Stephen
    Ottawa, April 1st, 2008

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