April PAD Challenge: Day 12

Yay! We’re 40% of the way through the challenge (after finishing today’s poem). That’s right! We’re almost to the half-way point. Woo-hoo!

For today’s prompt, I want you to take the phrase “So we decided to (blank)” and fill in the blank. Make that your title and write a poem. Some possibilities include “So we decided to plant a tree” or “So we decided to burn a hole in the sky.”

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“So we decided to keep writing”

Only a pen and outdated business cards,
but a Mexican clown (with face paint
and rhinestone vest) sang in Spanish
that made me feel he felt something
universal. Plus, I was waiting on Tammy
to bring back a pineapple smoothie,
so I took notes (red cap, black hair,
tip jar, food court, powdered sugar
all over my table and self). Maybe
I should learn a new language, wear
leather boots and cowboy hats, tint
the windows on my Kia Spectra, and
get Tammy to wear fake gold chains
and hoochie jeans. Maybe we should
check with the Pendergrass Flea Market
palm reader. Or maybe the point of
getting out of the apartment isn’t
to change ourselves but to observe
others and write every detail down.


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892 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 12

  1. Dione

    So we decided to peek over the edge,
    the two of us grasped in each other’s hands as
    we stared down the abyss, not quite knowing
    what to think, while all around us
    the ferocious wind picks up speed still, its
    deafening wail ringing in our ears and threatening
    to tear you away. But
    feet frozen, your eyes hold mine steady
    as we ride the storm out.

  2. JL Smither

    So We Decided

    So we decided to stay
    out in the rain and watch the Easter family
    in their pinks and pale greens
    skip across the driveway. And we watched
    the magenta crepe myrtle blossoms bounce
    heavily under the force of each raindrop. And
    in our dripping T-shirts we watched the earthworms
    limp onto the sidewalk, safe from the robins
    who snuggled puffed-up on the white sycamore
    branches. And we decided to splash
    across the driveway, jumping with each raindrop,
    to strut high-stepping down the street, and to press
    against each other with cords of hair
    dripping down our faces.

  3. yolanda davis-overstreet

    Day 12

    So We Decided to Accept Challenges

    Deciding to accept something so challenging
    Was not the notion of the day
    But when we had no choice
    We said. “ok”
    Bring it on – was then the fearless stand
    We decided to take
    Challenge –we did

  4. Maureen Hurley

    And So We Decided

    I’m too tired to cook an Easter Dinner,
    later, when guilt consumes me,
    a tiny Danish canned ham will suffice.
    A minor miracle I can pull from the cupboard.
    Just like my grandmother, I will parboil it,
    to remove nitrates and excess salts.
    I will score it with a knife to make diamonds,
    I will rub the ham with dark mustard,
    and dress it with dark brown sugar
    and in every diamond I will bury a whole clove,
    spicy nails commemorating Jesus on the cross.
    It will taste delicious and Neil will eat most of it.

    What is it with men? Every year,
    My aunt Toddy made me Easter baskets,
    after mass, an egg hunt in the raspberry patch,
    squabbling with the chickens, reluctant
    to give up their hard boiled dyed eggs
    never to hatch no matter how long they brooded.

    I was a proxy child. Toddy couldn’t have kids.
    Everything worked, sperm and egg connected,
    but it stopped there, a stuck fermentation.
    So I was the child-gift on loan. Easters
    and foggy summers, hiking down to the beach,
    the Boardwalk, and the inevitable sunburns.
    The sand and sun, sea and sky was my palette.

    When John was too drunk to drive, Toddy learned.
    If the car wouldn’t run, she took it apart.
    It was either that, or walk. That’s how
    we got to Easter mass. Shank’s mare.
    Two miles was a long way on child legs.
    My grandmother was a great walker,
    but she was no spring chicken. So Toddy learned.

    We’d scour the thrift stores, and yard sales,
    we picked fruit by the lugful and canned it.
    I loved climbing the white nectarine tree
    savoring its bitter-skinned fruit, soft fuzz
    of apricots against my lips, like baby’s cheeks.

    I remember Toddy explaining carburetor valves.
    Likewise, the miracle of life in words
    I didn’t want to know at age 10: penis, egg, sperm.
    The randy ducks nailed cats and hens,
    how Toddy struggled to explain that.

    The yard and garage gathered the detritus,
    a junkman’s wetdream backwashed in,
    filled the house. Billard tables, Slipstreams.
    Chickens and rabbits. Books stacked everywhere.

    The year we saved an orphan hummingbird,
    I shared a bunk propped up on bookcases
    with a hummer the size of a grasshopper
    demanding his snootful of sugar water on the hour.

    Toddy was a reader and imparted that love to me.
    One Easter, I read the classics, Treasure Island,
    Swiss Family Robinson, and Moby Dick.
    Dark tiles turned to sandy beaches tracked in by the dogs.
    The tall grasses out back became my wilderness.

    Invariably, my uncles, aunts, or my mom
    would make their way to Santa Cruz for Easter.
    Winter holidays were my grandmother’s domain,
    but Easter was always Toddy’s domain.
    John’s drinking unraveled a string of lost jobs.
    Midnight Mass involved pushing cars out of ditches,
    propping boards under tires sluicing us with mud.

    Each year my grandmother told Toddy how to boil ham,
    dress it in cloves and brown sugar. Sign of the cross.
    They draped pineapple haloes over it, filled the rings
    with maraschino cherries like sacred hearts.
    I loved seeing the ham emerge from the oven,
    symbols of mortality and resurrection rolled together.

    One Easter, my mom delivered a baby boy to Toddy.
    Miracle of loaves into fishes, water into wine,
    it was the transformation of brother into cousin.
    With the adoption, Toddy’s barren period reversed,
    John cut back on drinking, she had three more kids.
    Full house: the bases and John were always loaded.
    No room for us, Easter visits ceased. No baskets.
    Her last child at 46, flamed the first bout of cancer,
    the same cancer that claimed her brother Myles,
    brown islands of melanoma in a pale freckled sea,
    then the breast cancer that also claimed my mother.

    John got elected to the school board and dried out.
    But a dry drunk was hard to get to know, John was
    a stranger in our midst, having alienated his kids,
    Sean ran headlong into drugs and the penitentiary.
    Easters were infused with the blare of Fox TV,
    I grew distant from them, until the heart attack,
    and slowly we all made our amends with him,
    except for Sean, but he too was dead within the year.
    A bullet to the mouth. Was it suicide or murder?
    Only the admiral of death knew the score.

    All this painful rambling, to write of family ghosts,
    this year, we decided to forgo Easter, except for ham
    because now the cancer has settled into my aunt Canice,
    and Toddy, a two-times survivor, is our beacon of hope.
    To soothe my stigmata, and roll the stone from the tomb
    I measure time by the incremental length of books.

    And so now all we can do is wait for the results.

  5. Tony Walker

    April 12th prompt: So we decided to (blank)
    “So we decided to cal it quits”
    We thought we were safe
    After all opposites attract right?
    And we were extremely opposite
    And extremely attracted to each other
    But after so many starts and fits
    We’ve decided to call it quits

  6. K.E. Ogden

    K.E. Ogden
    April 12, 2009
    Prompt: “So we decided to …”


    So we decided to remember we
    weren’t dead yet, took off our clothes, ran naked
    into the water, splashed and swam in half-
    moonlight. The next morning, covered with beach
    towels, sand pasted on skin, we woke to cold
    fog and orange sun pushing up through ocean.
    A woman danced hula in the half-light;
    a cigarette dangled from her lips; crown
    of flowers atop her frizzed hair.

  7. Tom Smith

    So We Decided To Explore

    Some professors can be so boring
    So we tried every door on the second floor
    Even the ones marked DO NOT ENTER
    And we found a flight of stairs
    That took us up onto the roof
    And instead of listening to a lecture on astronomy
    We just stared up at the stars

  8. LindaTK

    Day 12: (Free Verse)
    So We Decide to Ride it Out

    Several years of contributing
    to our TSA’s

    Looking forward to
    Home improvement
    New vehicle
    Savings for our granddaughter’s college fund


    The economy goes bust

    Do we pull it all out
    and stuff it under our mattress
    or hide it in the freezer
    OR do we ride it out
    and hope for recovery?
    So we decide to ride it out.
    So far, ouch.

  9. Claudia Marie Clemente

    ************************(revision with title)*******************

    *what we decided*

    so we decided
    to sift
    through paperwork,
    not talk
    about the divorce,
    and not
    end up in bed;

    then we went out
    for indonesian
    and decided
    not to talk
    about what
    we had decided
    not to
    talk about.


  10. Lissa

    So we decided to wait

    So we decided to wait until we had gotten down the road a bit
    We had taken advantage of an Indian summer
    that had become colder and later than planned.
    I curled into your back
    so it was easy to hear
    when you angled your head to say,
    We should have taken that last exit.
    You coasted the bike into the shoulder
    as it slowed to a lumberous weight.
    Under the stars
    the road sloped,
    with no traffic but our feet and two wheels.
    You pushed,
    I carried the bags and helmets.
    And when you earned the crest,
    we hopped back on to deploy gravity,
    cruising into the gas station.
    The tank full, we still had to push,
    trying to start it,
    running sweaty along the long trucker lanes.
    Finally, another biker pulled in.
    Wiry, road-worn, but fast, and the two of you got the engine rumbling,
    hours after we left on a 45-minute ride home.
    You gave me your gloves,
    leaving your knuckles barraged by the wind
    shifting time.

  11. Linda H.

    I decided to write a rondeau for today’s prompt.

    We decided to watch the clouds go by,
    big stratacumulus puffs in the sky,
    good friends we two, the age of only three
    together on the "picky-a-nick blankie"
    searching for a cat, whale or butterfly.

    Spent many years together before saying goodbye,
    following different paths, my friend and I.
    With new people at each university
    we decided to watch the clouds go by.

    But winds currents blow way up high
    and clouds meet again, by and by,
    to share memories of days, stormy and sunny,
    times that were sad, time that were funny,
    just as we did today, my pal and I.
    We decided to watch the clouds go by.

  12. Amanda Caldwell

    So we decided to believe

    There was no reason for the deaths of these children
    and no easy way to bear them.
    Even for me who doesn’t know the mourners
    and has a sleepy child lying in my lap,
    attached to me physically
    and pulling milk out of me,
    kicking me occasionally in the face
    to let me know he doesn’t like my elbow in his hair.
    Even I grieve.
    The potential of loss so great
    as to be unendurable.
    And yet they endure.
    And yet we all always endure.
    We go on.
    We breathe.
    One day a little better, and the next hard again,
    but the next after that easier still.
    Not easy.
    Never easy.
    But possible.

    And I don’t know how we do it.
    Maybe, after all,
    there’s no other choice.

  13. Ivy Merwine

    So we decided to go cow tipping.

    We decided to go cow tipping my friend and I.
    We laughed as we crossed the field trying not to step in a cow pie.
    We were creeping silently up to the nearest cow.
    I felt a tug at my back so I looked at my pal.
    He was holding his hand over his mouth trying not to laugh.
    I turned around looking to discover a calf.
    It has snuck up behind me and was eating my coat.
    I screamed so loud that I startled a goat.
    He ran around bleating waking the heard.
    I yanked my jacket preventing it from being a curd.
    The calf started running and bawling out cries of alarm.
    I knew we were fixing to get into harm.
    My friend and I started running back the way we had came.
    Only to be chased by one MAD cow dame.
    Who knew a mad cow mama could run so fast?
    My pal drew a picture of a cow on my cast.

  14. Alyssa Watson

    So We Decided to Swim

    Wade or swim or build a bridge
    Climb a hill, run down a ridge
    Swing across a rushing stream
    Bowls of strawberries with cream

    “Should we swim or should we wade?”
    Asked my cousin, Holly Jade.
    “I don’t know, let’s build a bridge,”
    Was my response, regretted since.

    We gathered sticks, and branches, too
    Not only dried but green ones, new
    Across the river, hard and strong
    We built a bridge, its timbers long.

    With pointed toe I tested it
    It held our weight, its boards were knit
    Like canvas of the toughest type
    Upon a sea, set sail a ship

    This was a day for just us two
    Our hands were twined by silent cue
    I raised my head, looked in her eyes
    They both were shining, her spirit enticed

  15. Kathryn Hessler

    So we decided to jump on the boat

    So we decided to jump on the boat
    On the bandwagon,
    On to the idea.

    We gathered up our silk stockings,
    Our creature-comforts, our safety-net protections.

    And we leapt out onto a new thing!

    And it was good and it was scary,
    We moved worlds and we took steps backwards.

    Some of us lost our dolls, our mobile phones,
    Family pictures, friends, beliefs, our certainty.

    But we kept on leaping and talking and listening.

    We wept and we danced and we laughed,
    And we called for others to consider joining us,
    And also smiled and loved those who remained on-shore.

  16. Amy Gunn

    “So We Decided to Elope”

    My parents couldn’t stand him, but I didn’t really care.
    I packed a bag on Thursday and I said I’d meet him there.
    I fixed my hair and makeup so he’d see me in my glory,
    But then my dad came in my room to read a bedtime story.

  17. Stacey Cornwell

    So we decided to skip school
    Take a mental holiday
    From the trivialities
    Of high school life

    And just for one day
    Be who We wanted to be
    Not what we were told to be
    By teachers, parents and peers

    Not the A+ student
    Nor the perfect child
    And most definitely not
    One who follows along

    With the crowded masses
    We are who we are
    You don’t have to understand
    Just accept us as we are

  18. Tara Vaughan-Williams

    So we decided to cry

    Skin as icy as the concrete he once slept on
    Began purpling around his lips and extremities.
    He was a fixture in the landscape of a rugged metropolis.
    With hunger pangs inaudible over the clacking of stilettos
    And ruffling of pigeons and corporate feathers.

    We used to wish we could wash him away with the sludge
    Oozing from the dumpsters crowding the same alleys
    He frequented in search of a reason to live.
    Only now that he is masked in death and slumber
    Has he become clearly and frightening human.

    So we decided to cry.

    Shame was an invitation to lament
    our hard-worn exteriors and calcified cores.
    We forced ourselves to stare into dead eyes,
    Which see now as well as ours ever did,
    Laboring to dismantle our pride.

    To have to decide to mourn the loss of another human being
    Should be punishable by something extreme.
    But we had nothing left to offer him at this late date,
    Except our nauseating guilt and tarnished self-respect.
    So we prayed for open eyes and loving hearts,

    And then we decided to cry.

  19. Lytton Bell

    We Decided

    So we decided to stay friends
    and not become lovers
    I was moving to California in a month
    and couldn’t handle harvesting
    another broken heart
    I felt a special guilt because of your handicap
    I didn’t want to take advantage

    But you were not going to make it easy for me
    You cooked for me, showed me all of your hidden glens
    played me your favorite songs
    I wanted you – your laughing eyes, your innocent smile
    And you wanted me –
    I flattered myself that you had wanted me for a year

    And I can’t remember now
    how we made it into your bed
    or why nothing happened in it
    our breathing strained
    But we never even touched

    And I can’t help wondering
    what would have happened if we just gave in?
    leaned your crutches against the nightstand
    slid out of our clothes
    our bodies tumbling together
    like damp towels in a dryer
    Would I still have moved 3,000 miles away?

    And what is all this wondering worth?
    We made our choice
    Now we live with it

    And what does it matter now
    if you would have been comforted
    and me redeemed?

    So what if I wanted to be licked in the flame of your infatuation
    So what if I wanted a key to your apartment
    or to wake and kiss your navel in the middle of the night
    or give you a silver photo frame engraved with both our names
    So what if I wanted to keep your letter in my desk at work
    and ache for every second we were apart
    or make out with you in public, in the mall
    drawing tsks of disapproval from startled shoppers

    Whether anyone else has wanted you like this, I can’t say
    But we made our choice
    and cried aloud
    alone in separate beds

    We “moved on”
    Like we decided

  20. Virginia Shank

    So We Decided to Get the Cat

    who sat aloof at the top of the carpeted tree,
    his silhouette that of an old Egyptian god,
    his attitude the same. He disdained the cozy
    curling of the coupled cats, and cleaned
    his whiskers to an angry sheen. He left
    the pound as if he couldn’t care less and rode
    affronted in the front of my car, annoyed
    perhaps I didn’t drive a Rolls or Olds,
    something befitting his demeanor. At home
    he strode around the place and spread
    his lanky frame across the center of the room
    to say that this was his now and I’d better
    know my place. But when he sleeps
    at my feet, or curls into my lap I feel
    the flush of pride you get when a cruel
    teacher praises you, when the accolades
    you receive aren’t some petty prize
    given to every special snowflake person
    who even tried, but the real thing. The cat
    reminds me of all this, the writing for the moment
    when no one can say “fix this,” or “change that”
    but sit and smile and say “that’s it. That’s a poem.”

  21. Maria D. Laso

    So We Decided to Save Her
    Our flesh was as willing
    As willing as hers was not
    As willing as our spirit
    Knowing she suffered
    Knowing the body failed
    Wanting to spare her pain
    as she had done so often
    for us
    for us
    Righted our wrongs
    when she could
    forgave us the others.
    We knew she would forgive
    us now too
    We hoped
    We prayed
    And then we pulled the plug.

  22. Julie Bloss Kelsey

    So we decided to remain friends

    So we decide to remain friends
    because I knew in my heart
    that I couldn’t stand her
    dating you, and me
    off to one side, watching,
    waiting for the phone to ring
    desperately wanting
    things to go back
    to the way they were.

    And we remained friends
    even after the time I got drunk
    and followed you around
    ending up in a bar, cornered
    by our dateless co-workers
    desperately singing
    karaoke off-key
    (not one of my favorite

    And today, though apart,
    I think of you, my friend,
    and me, and how we married
    other people, our best friends,
    and I know, once again,
    that I made a good choice
    to let you go then
    and wish you the best,
    not desperate, not lonely,
    just curious

  23. Laura Kayne

    So We Decided to Keep Walking

    Sunny Sunday on the seafront,
    We decided to take a walk,
    Along the beach and past
    The blue, red and green beach-huts,
    As seagulls cried and swooped overhead
    And the waves gently swept in and out.

    We seemed to have
    All the time in the world
    So we decided to keep walking.
    Past the old-fashioned Italian ice-cream parlour,
    The beachfront cafe and the charity shop,
    The circus tent erected on the green
    And the leisure centre.

    Blue, open sky above us,
    Beckoning us on,
    We kept walking,
    Breeze on our faces
    And sea-salt in our hair.

    No set heading
    We just walked
    For the journey’s sake,
    Our destination found
    In each step of our feet together,
    Moving always onwards.

  24. Cheryl Pearson

    So we decided to lie in the grass and look at stars

    We spread in the grass, the shapes of gingerbread men
    or snow-angels, but terrifically arty – almost
    three dimensional – and burning with colour.

    ‘Look’, I said, and gestured. ‘Look at all that space’.

    Your eyes slipped along my finger,
    hopped the knuckle and launched themselves skyward,
    burning the pink half-moon of my cuticle.

    And you were as lost as I was:
    drowning drunkenly
    in all that sky, black and clear and strung
    with a million stars,
    all absorbed in their distant twinkling.

    ‘What must we look like from up there?’
    you said. (‘If we could be seen’.)

    Well: the earth
    would be a smoothly turning marble, green
    and blue and copper, seamed
    with wispy skeins of white, And
    the great wall of China would be
    a neat little hem, or tidy zip-teeth. Zoom in,
    and you’d see the seas, all kinds of blue.
    Superior. And their own hosts of worlds
    underneath. And zooming further still, we’d arrive at
    this country; this town; this field; this grass. Us.
    The smallest smudges of bone and skin, a jumble of organs.
    Lashes and lips, breeze-lifted hair,
    ten fingers, ten toes. Little pinches of nose.
    A smileful of teeth. A heart. A soul.

    We must look like little aliens,
    all crazy limbs and strangely pink. Or
    fallen stars, made duller and warmer,
    and mischievous.

    Smiling, I turn my head to face you.
    You’re staring up at all those other worlds,
    enchanted. They’re mirrored in the
    deep dark slicks of your pupils,
    impossibly perfect, impossibly tiny. And you
    hold all worlds: all things.
    And closing your lids in a blink
    makes you God.

  25. Sheryl Kay Oder

    So We Decided to Go to Church Today

    It was not an unusual decision;
    we do that almost every Sunday.
    But every Sunday the bus does
    not stop this often. Today the bus
    will be late because so many other
    people decided to attend church, too.

    Too bad so many attend only on
    Easter or close to Christmas.
    We would gladly have more
    frequent stops, if only
    they would attend more often.

  26. Sascha Aurora Akhtar

    So We Decided
    To Bury The Dog

    There is a universal sigh which is existence
    & every foiled attempt at buttering toast
    Seems an insurmountable odd.

    Glimpses of joy appear
    In other people’s windows
    Whilst riding top deck


    Luscious red walls & wishing
    I was in there
    Instead of in my body

    This tyre of inflated life.

    © Copyright 2009 SAkhtar Depressing/ Depressed Poem

  27. Lauri Land

    So We Decided To

    Driving through the night
    as we have dozens of times before
    across three states
    smog of NYC
    beaches of NJ
    mountains of PA
    just two hours from home
    not home, I guess
    before college
    before the job
    before marriage
    Mom will be (probably already is)
    perched on her porch
    phone in hand, waiting
    for the travel update from each stop
    (before cell phones, you see)
    but no more rest stops—almost there
    the sign illuminates as we approach
    “State Line—1 Mile”
    you know that you’re in trouble
    that you’re lost
    when your first thought is
    “Which state?”
    so we decided to stop for directions.

  28. lynn paden

    ‘comes a time"

    they were all against us
    without telling us why
    they couldn’t see the reality
    so we decided to try

    we were never alone
    we chased out low and high
    always followed, lives in sorrow
    so we decided to cry

    trapped together, but apart
    our eyes were never dry
    no relief was their belief
    so we decided to fly

    but the world did not welcome
    young freaks like you and i
    all in despair, no one to care
    so we decided to die

  29. Sally Deems-Mogyordy

    So we decided to take a big risk…

    and buy the two wooded acres
    with the 150-year-old house,
    majestic trees, and a herd of deer.
    “What were we thinking?”
    we’ve asked ourselves a thousand times
    when funds for the “remodel from Hell”
    have once again dried up, and enthusiasm
    has flown out the window–one of only two
    windows that didn’t absolutely need replaced.
    When I say there must be some design behind
    the madness, you shoot daggers at me, your beloved
    wife who squandered our security with
    irrational confidence and a lousy sense of timing.

    Yet sometimes—like when a thick blanket
    of fresh snow turns the woods into a hushed
    cathedral, or the discovery of a newborn fawn
    fills us with a sense of awe, or the sun streaming
    through the stained-glass door creates a gallery
    of dancing rainbows—sometimes it feels
    like this place chose us instead of the other way
    around. During those times, we just smile
    at each other and shake our heads in disbelief
    that we were picked to be the lucky participants
    in such a wonderful adventure of a lifetime.

    © 2009 Sally Deems-Mogyordy

  30. Michael Roy

    “So we decided to break away”

    So we decided to break away
    Escape from our work and normal lives
    Turn off the computers and other electronic leashes that bind
    Seeking freedom from all thought of our normal day

    Where do we go to free us from our daily rounds
    Trapped in the hustle of the rat race
    Airports, hotels and restaurants are out
    Going to our normal haunts will not free us from our bounds

    Breaking away from the cycle of life
    We turn off all devices and step outside
    Sitting on the deck with ice tea in hand
    I relish the time taken with just my wife

  31. Rose Anna Hines

    Twelve-hour work days,
    clocked in, one for each finger and toe
    too many days in a row.
    This morning filled with
    housework not done for three weeks.


    The day was spring born
    too gorgeous to stay inside.
    At 10am, hubby and I
    took plastic chairs out of the garage,
    put them under the apricot tree.
    We read basking in the sun
    screened by the tree.
    Came back in the house,
    got Gatorade, cold chicken and snickers bars.
    a blanket and 2 pillows.

    After our pool side snack
    and banana splits with 3 scoops of ice cream,
    ladled with chocolate fudge topping
    and almost too many, but just enough nuts
    We lay down on the grass
    and continued to read.
    Our cats nestled by us,
    The German Shepherd spread out
    half on the blanket, half on the grass.

    In the middle of the hectic city
    and our harried lives,
    we had a well deserved vacation.

  32. Rose Anna Hines

    Night after night,
    the dogs, the cats,
    even the mice sleep,
    but not I.

    Sleep hovers like
    a mosquito buzzing in the dark,
    just out of reach
    I try to grasp it.
    I feel its fragile wings flutter in my hand,
    but it slips through my fingers.
    Fragments of sleep float in the air,
    smoke I can smell,
    but not grab.

    work grave yard.

  33. Carol Berger

    “So We Decided to Go Up to the Lighthouse”

    It was Tracie’s one night at the bed and breakfast.
    We had met on the porch that afternoon
    and, each of us being a woman traveling alone,
    had struck up a camaraderie.

    I had told her how the previous night
    I had gone up to the lighthouse alone at sunset.
    Once it got darker, I could clearly see
    the big Fresnel lens turning in the lantern house
    and thought how apropos it was to call the lenses “jewels.”
    The motion of the sparkling glass had mesmerized me.
    At first the prisms’ rainbow colors
    shone against the near woods,
    then more focused beams began to appear,
    shining across the cove below and the trees above it,
    before sweeping out over the shoreline to the open ocean.
    Only one star had been out, with a sliver of the moon
    above and to the west of it. I had stayed there
    until I was too cold to stay any longer.

    I told Tracie that I was going up again that night,
    but later this time, when it was even darker.
    Afraid to go alone, Tracie asked if she could come along,
    and so we decided to go up to the lighthouse
    together at ten o’clock that night.

    Bundled up warmly against the cold night,
    with flashlights in our hands, we headed out the door.
    The house inside and porch without glowed with warm light,
    as we gazed back while crossing the lawn.
    A spotlight shone on the parking area,
    and another on the fenced-in grounds,
    but once we were out the gate in the picket fence
    and past the unlit gift shop, there was only
    the light of our flashlights on the trail
    that had once been an access road
    and wound up through the woods a quarter of a mile
    to where the lighthouse stood on a promontory.

    It was so quiet, we could hear every sound
    that came from the woods around us.
    Leaves rustled in the breeze, our shoes crunched
    unseen sticks beneath our feet,
    and Tracie thought of bears and cougars.
    Even I was a little spooked when we suddenly
    ran into a couple coming down the hill without flashlights.
    We were both glad when we could begin to see
    brightness up ahead and knew we were getting close.

    When we got there, the light was already
    as bright and focused as it had been the night before
    when I had left it to go back to the inn.
    The moon was surrounded by dozens of stars,
    as if the night sky had the measles.
    There was just enough light to see the waves
    breaking way below us if we looked closely.

    Eight strong beams radiated out from the lens,
    seeming to go straight out for a while,
    then arc down to the water, in an optical illusion.
    Stationing ourselves at the base of the lighthouse,
    we were suddenly at the center of a carousel of light,
    spokes turning directly in front of us,
    seemingly coming straight down to the earth,
    and almost fluorescent against the night sky.

    There were no sounds except the breaking of the waves
    on the beach below, until suddenly Tracie exclaimed,
    “Wow!” and I shifted my gaze in time to see something
    streaking through the sky, with a wide swath behind it.
    “A comet!” I said, but neither of us were astronomers
    and guessed it could be a meteor or perhaps
    a piece of space junk burning up. We ruled out
    shooting stars and UFOs while we stood there,
    hoping it would happen again, knowing it would not.

    We felt the extraordinariness of the moment,
    as if the streaking object were the frosting on the cake
    of seeing the light from the lighthouse at night.
    There was something deep and spiritual about it all,
    something that made the universe suddenly seem
    much more real and vast, and us a very small part of it.
    Something that spoke of both time and eternity.

    We stayed there for a good hour, marveling at the beauty
    of the night sky and the lighthouse beams, amazed
    by what we’d seen and felt, until finally, reluctantly,
    we turned to go back down the trail to the warmth of the inn.

  34. Erin Sway

    So we decided to collaborate

    How about historical fiction?
    What about the mythology museum?
    When are we going to get together about that art project?
    Mundane, boring queries which opened doors to a treasure trove of conversation
    Stories about babies, dancing princesses
    College, retirement, dreams for the future
    Dinners to celebrate, dinners to plan
    Collaborating in life
    Not just the work they make us document at 3:25

  35. Cheryl Foreman

    And so we decided

    To eat at the island in the kitchen,
    cozier than the big table tucked in
    the nook, empty without the various timbres
    of voices absent from home today. And,
    the meal would be filling but not fattening,
    allowing for the rich conversation,
    leaving the tongue longing for more, as it caught
    the final crumbs of satisfaction. So after the meal
    we decided to dessert on unspoken creativity,
    still eager to take in more without forcing our stomachs
    to distend while allowing our hearts to be stuffed full.

  36. gbivings

    So We Decided to Talk Alone in Private

    we became good friends
    but I’d had a crush on him
    since ninth grade.
    senior year I had the "courage"
    to express my true feelings to
    him in a note.
    the contents of the note were
    acknowledged with a quiet smile,
    then we carried on with our
    looking back, it seems that we
    expressed our true feelings
    about each other only through notes-
    in our yearbook, on the backs of pictures-
    never through verbal exchanges.
    we lost touch over the years.
    but when we saw each other at our class reunion,
    we decided to talk alone in private.
    I was married, he was engaged
    but, no matter.
    we were long overdue for a
    "friendly" verbal exchange.

  37. Eileen Rosensteel

    So We Decided to Dance
    Awkward swaying at arms length
    Slowly the music bringing us closer
    Our bodies finding a natural rhythm
    Building confidence
    Until we could trust
    In each other.

  38. Nadia Kazakov

    “So we decided to make love”

    It was a rainy Saturday morning
    He lay beside me with his hands embracing me
    I felt his heart pounding
    I love the way his breath against my neck feels
    His gentle touch arouses me
    I feel his kisses surrounding me
    Since there’s nowhere we need to be
    We decided to make love

  39. Dr. Jeanne Hounshell


    To go looking
    for land
    in the high
    to make our own.

    we packed
    the camper
    and drove
    up up up
    until Long’s Peak
    and Mt. Meeker
    filled our eyes.

    We loved this land
    and wanted a piece.

    All day
    a realator
    drove us
    into the backwoods
    to land
    with no view
    no stream
    no roads
    no electricity
    nothing that we wanted.

    My heart cried
    I had waited so long
    for a piece of the Rockies.

    Was there none for us?
    almost back
    he said
    there’s a piece
    down that road
    but it has a cabin
    and is more than
    you wanted to pay.

    Do you want to look?
    Smartmouth me
    It doesn’t cost anything
    to look.

    Love at first sight
    a view
    a stream
    and a cabin to die for
    to live in
    to live for.

    After budget adjustments
    a few arguments
    much soul searching
    we decided
    to buy our cabin.

    Forty years ago
    still it is
    our haven
    a place to spend
    a place filled
    with memories
    of children
    and love.

    It was
    one of our
    wise decisions
    the day we decided
    to buy our cabin.

  40. Kelli Russell Agodon

    Magic Show

    So we decided to believe death
    was an underground magic show
    where someone disappears
    in a box and arrives behind the curtain
    where a stagehand makes sure
    she doesn’t accidentally walk back
    on stage and an assistant gives her water
    and peanuts. There were ooohs
    and ahhhhs from the audience,
    lots of dirty props she kept
    bumping into, a scary mannequin
    head tossed in the corner.
    She found the room where they kept
    the bunnies and doves, where magic
    was a breathing thing and she remembered
    as a child how she watched a magician
    fumble with a dove until its wing
    was broken. The cage had malfunctioned,
    the bird appeared caught
    between its two worlds—visible and in-
    visible. She opened the backdoor
    to the room allowing the rabbits
    and doves to leave into what might not be
    a better world, but a world rid
    of the shadows and clumsy magicians.
    She could hear the applause slightly
    as she followed the animals into the bright
    light of a half-full parking lot.


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