April PAD Challenge: Day 4

Sorry for the late post today. It’s been a doozy of a morning. First, the power was knocked out by some intense storms early this morning, so my alarm did not wake me up this morning. Luckily, my girlfriend called–giving me just enough time to rush over and make my oil change appointment (in a very disoriented state of mind). Once at the dealership, I was told the average oil change wait time is 30-45 minutes. “Good, good,” I thought, “that’ll give me just enough time to get a start on my poem for today.” So anyway, I guess I should’ve been trying to get a start on my Great American Novel, because 105 minutes later I’m politely asking if maybe they called my name and I didn’t hear them. “Actually, no,” they said–also politely, “The car in line before you had problems getting off THE RACK.” So yeah, I’m not one to make a big fuss, so I said, “Cool,” and sat back down worried about posting for y’all (because I’m always thinking of my wonderful blog readers) and just attributed it to some weird Friday bad luck. Anyway, 2 hours after arriving, they finally had me set to go. I pull out my wallet and find out that all I have to do is sign my name and leave. The service guy didn’t even bother telling me it was on the house, and–as mentioned earlier–I’m not one of those people who pushes for that kind of stuff. So, yeah, nice ending to a weird morning. I’m thankful for the way they treated me without forcing me to be a jerk–and without making a big “to do” about how they were giving me excellent customer service by putting it on the house. It’s the little things really. Anyway, that was a huge ramble. And now, on to the prompt!


Actually, that ramble kind of perfectly fits in with today’s prompt, which is to write a thankful poem (at the time, I was thinking TGIF=thankful poem?). Another option is to write a tribute poem. The thankful/tribute poem can be dedicated to a person, an inanimate object, an idea, a day of the week, etc.

For my part, I used this prompt to write a poem on a subject that I’ve just never been able to tackle: my mother. She’s one of those people who is so perfect that every poem I’ve ever tried writing about her has been kind of blah. But you know what, who cares? So here goes:

“My Mother”

She began working in a car factory at 18,
got married, had 3 boys, and thought
of eventually doing something other
than working in a car factory. But she believed
in providing. Even after the divorce, she
worked and worked and did not let it
keep her from shuttling 3 boys between
practices and events; she did not let
it keep her from attending those events
and getting to know the boys’ friends; and
she never once complained “it’s not fair.”
She was the only parent to be so involved
who also gave her children the freedom
to grow up at indie rock shows and staying out
late at night. “Just wake me when you get in,”
she’d say, “so I don’t wake up worried.”
She worked and cared for 3 sons, who
went on to become 3 successes–who
had 1 parent to thank for everything.

This poem is sappy and personal and the kind of poem many serious poets would attack as not poetry. I would seriously dispute any such claim. I agree that this is not “publishable poetry,” but it is still poetry. Just because a poem is not meant for The New Yorker or The Atlantic, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a poem–or even that it’s not a good poem. For instance, this poem really helped remind me just how thankful I am for my mother and how much she means to me. And when I read it to her tonight, I know she’ll realize just how much she means to me as well. So even though this poem is only intended for an audience of 2–it scores a 100% for those two. Don’t value your poetry solely off your publication credits and rejection slips; by writing and sharing your writing, you are doing something great. For real.

I’m sorry; I’m totally rambly and sentimental this morning/early afternoon. 🙂


Some quick notes: First, I’m going to be visiting my grandmother in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, area this weekend. She doesn’t have a computer; and I’ve never tried locating the Internet down there–so my posts this weekend may be a bit on the inconsistent side. I’m going to try and keep them coming in the mornings though.

Second, due to popular request, I’m going to randomly provide posts with poems that I’ve particularly liked from each day’s prompt–probably grouping a few prompts together. So on Monday, I’ll see if I can get that first batch together.

Third, I’m very thankful to all of you who’ve been participating in this challenge with me. Your responses have totally overwhelmed me (in a fantastic way). Let’s keep at it!


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208 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 4

  1. J. Hugh MacDonald

    Our Brand New Shih Tzu?

    Yesterday Sandra watched him
    dodge cars on the paved road
    that leads to our lane
    a small white Shih Tzu
    with a blue leather collar
    and red mud trousers
    halfway up his short body.
    It is spring here on the island
    and this spring is slow
    the snow is melting away
    leaving patches of pale green
    faded by long winter days
    and lack of proper contact
    with the sun’s bright face.
    There is also rusty mud
    that sticks and runs and stains
    and adheres like mortal sin
    clings to the over scrupulous.
    The soggy dog came back
    after a night of cold rain
    coaxed finally to our deck
    this damp and chilly morning
    in spite of the hissing white cat
    and is now wagging and thankful
    to that same uncooperative beast
    for a few meager bites of dry food
    and a plastic dish of clean water.
    If we can catch a proper hold
    of the scrawny shivering pup
    the veterinarian on the corner
    has promised to keep him caged
    until his delinquent owner is found
    or we decide to bring him home.


  2. S.E. Ingraham

    Thanks be to the Faithful

    Every time I return from yet
    another sojourn
    To the great beyond,
    an increasingly unknowable place
    That grows ever more difficult to describe
    And even more challenging to articulate
    Without exception, without fail
    I am always warmly welcomed back
    Embraced by a group of friends,
    the nucleus of which
    Is such that I know not how to classify,
    categorize or in any way explain
    Such exceptional people, I am certain,
    are as rare as true love
    And just as precious
    If not even more so
    People – friends, of whom
    I know I am unworthy
    Yet feel incredibly blessed
    to have in my life.

    When I finally soar back into their lives,
    as if on the wings of some recalcitrant
    or at least at last, forgiving angel,
    there are never any recriminations,
    nor the slightest whiff of disapproval
    and not a hint of disappointment.
    If any of these, feel any of that
    they are incredibly careful
    to keep such feelings
    expressly well-hidden, from me.
    Their love and acceptance seems,
    and after years of experience, I believe is,
    truly unconditional.

    So – no matter how long my
    fickle health has me
    go to ground
    Or, contrarily provokes
    months of behavior so bizarre
    my family must crave disowning me
    This company, never intrusively,
    always reassuringly, but really – just there
    Let me know throughout all the
    shades and vagaries that
    make up my shredded life,
    I am loved, I am treasured;
    I am valued beyond all measure and
    When I am so inclined
    or my demons at last
    let loose their surly bonds
    No matter should it take
    a million untold days
    My band of allies
    will still be there for me
    Eager, nay, impatient
    to help pick up the ruined threads
    That link the fragile web of my existence
    To the weft and weave of theirs
    And carry on as if uninterrupted,
    We continue
    Their strength becomes
    my strength, at least
    For a time
    and I know,
    I do, I am so very blessed.


  3. Maureen

    Tribute and thank you poem to my grade three teacher, Miss Moore.


    I will always remember you
    with love and thankfulness.
    You gave me precious gifts
    that would see me through
    the hardest years of my life.
    Most important, you believed in me,
    I have never felt that before.
    You gave me the part of Echo
    in the play we performed for assembly
    and you told me I had a beautiful voice,
    words I would cry over in gratitude
    years later when I was in therapy.
    You helped me become a survivor
    and I thank you
    with the deepest emotion in my being.

    © Maureen Sexton

  4. mjdills

    Here little kitty…
    I’m so glad you made it in tonight
    To snuggle up against my chilly toes.
    Rub your head all up and down the spine of my book
    Even though I’m trying to read.
    You make me feel loved
    And I know I am your number one person
    In the world.
    Thank you for making me feel special.
    You were just a feral little street kitty
    And we found each other when sadness
    Enveloped so many.
    You made me happy then
    And you made me laugh,
    At a time when sorrow and goodbyes
    Were a main focus
    Thank you for being such a funny little girl;
    Looking at me with those big blue eyes
    As if you really love me.
    Thank you for letting me pretend.

  5. LindaTK

    Thank You

    Surrounded by Nature
    Brook, river, trees, fields of grass and flowers
    Birds, insects, small mammals and large
    Mountains in the distance
    Clean air to breathe
    I am truly grateful

  6. Karen Masteller


    D-Dedicated to hobby, country, career
    As a teen and beyond, built and used short wave radios
    Always, electronic gadgets and gizmos were his toys
    As a young adult, an Army Signal Corps Lieutenant in WWII
    As a career man, an electrical design draftsman
    After 34 committed years, retired from that job

    A-Adventurous in a playful way
    Spur of the moment family day trips to the beach
    Summer family camping vacations–in a tent!
    Routine trips around town became adventures because if there
    was a back way to anywhere, we took it

    D-Drawing, an often-used talent
    Always the cartoonist
    Illustrated maps
    Flip books with magically moving stick figures
    Detailed drawings miraculously appeared as a paper unfolded
    All communication enhanced with "talking paper"

    D-Devotion to family
    A faithful, committed husband of 58 years to his dear wife
    A fun dad who loved and provided for his son and daughter
    A silly PopPop who always had a smile, joke, or something
    entertaining to share with his three grandsons

    Y-You are not with us anymore and we miss you greatly.
    You had eighty-nine blessed years and
    You were a blessing to us.


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