2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

And so it begins! Today is the first day of the 5th annual April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge on Poetic Asides. I can’t believe we’re turning five!

For today’s prompt, write a communication poem. The communication could be dialogue between two (or more people); a postcard correspondence; a letter; a voicemail; a text message; a series of tweets; or whatever. Heck, I guess a poem is a form of communication–so there’s really no way to screw up today’s prompt (outside of writing nothing at all). Let’s get this party started!

Here’s my attempt:

“An Urgent Message”

Respond now or we’ll send murderous
marauders to your house at midnight
who will kill you–leaving your children
and parents with nothing. All will be
lost. Cunning cats will prowl alleyways
as your grieving (and groveling) leftovers
wander the earth wondering why you could
do so little to protect them. You, who
received urgent messages and important
notices and special offers, threw
every correspondence into the garbage
can as if all we tried to offer were junk.

*****

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654 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

  1. ceeess

    Well, I was thinking about doing this challenge and the NaPoWriMo challenge this month, but found I was stuck with “write a triolet” there, so I combined that idea with the prompt here and came up with this, but obviously my trioleting skills are rusty. I will also perhaps post some of my stuff on my blog this month at quillfyre.wordpress.com.

    End Notes

    These words must say what there is left to say
    to end this thing that changes love to hate.
    At start who’d know that we would see this day
    these words must say what there is left to say?
    Such trite regrets and sorrow and dismay
    we’ve left so little now it is too late.
    These words must say what there is left to say
    to end this thing that changes love to hate.

    Carol A. Stephen

  2. ellanytdavve

    Here’s my Day 1 poem…pardon the late entry…I’m a weekend worker.

    Memo to Myself

    Did you think it would be delivered
    by a person in brown clothes?
    Effortless Attainment,
    no heavy lifting for you.
    Brown is not my best color
    and beside, I’m tired.
    More likely a grey-haired crone
    will grace your door with
    that very special package,
    long overdue, forgotten
    in the junk mail.

  3. AC Leming

    Cookies

    I bake you chocolate chip cookies
    despite your anti-sweet tooth.  So I
    lower the glycemic index with almond
    flour, halve the sugar, use 72% cocoa
    chips instead of semi-sweet.  I remake
    my favorite recipe into a bittersweet
    desert to lure you in, to acknowledge
    we’ve passed beyond the honeymoon
    and into the hard work of marriage.

  4. Earl Parsons

    The Call

    Email
    Facebook
    Myspace
    Twitter
    Cell phone
    Home phone
    Fax
    Letter
    Telegraph
    Interstate
    Train
    Car
    Just walk over
    It’s way too far
    I’ve called
    I’ve written
    Sent emails and more
    I even sent the sheriff
    To knock on your door
    It’s been so long
    What’s wrong with your head
    Why won’t you call me
    It could be you’re dead
    Hope not
    In fact
    I hope you’re okay
    But, you’ve got me worried
    So call me today

    PS:
    If it’s so
    You no longer breathe air
    Disregard my ranting
    Just know
    That I care

  5. JoBella

    Wait for the Beep

    Every time I hear that beep
    I’m wishing it was you

    “Hey, please pray for me”
    That wasn’t you, but I pray for her
    I pray for you

    “Okie Dokie”
    Reminds me of you
    But it’s not you

    “I’ll be ready”
    I wish you were ready
    To talk to see me, to make plans together

    “Sweet buy!”
    It’s the everyday conversation I miss
    It’s knowing a little of your life
    That I miss so

    “Yes, have a blessed day”
    Oh, to just hear from you
    Would bless my day

    “Okay, sounds like a go”
    Nothing seems like a go for us

    “Yes, I can’t wait to see you”
    I think this always
    I can’t wait to see you
    Or hear from you
    But I wait
    I wait

  6. foodpoet

    Unopened

    Communication breakdown
    Occurs when
    Messages, phone and email remain unopened.
    Messages remain unopened because your messages buried
    Under the pretense of work can go unnoticed. But
    Never opened messages only multiply.
    I cannot put off the inevitable. I pick up the phone to
    Call, put the phone down and bury myself under bed spread and doubts.
    Again and again I put off calling you, knowing the rip
    tide of family will pull me out to sea and rocks that smash.
    I cannot call and I cannot not call.
    Only time will tell which
    Notice I will answer or not.

  7. SharieO

    Late with chiming in here. New to WD, but looking forward to participating. 🙂

    “I know, right?!”
    “Yep, for sure.”
    “Me too.”
    “Oh, okay, dear.”
    “You think so?”
    “Absolutely!”
    “I love you too, bunches!”

    We sit staring at one another,
    others stunned by our pleasurable silence.
    Who needs words?

  8. Walt Wojtanik

    DO NOT SPEAK ILL OF THE DEAD

    Hauntingly flaunting there verity,
    searching for clarity or at the least
    finished business. A chance
    to cross over unimpeded. They’ve
    begged and pleaded for some relief
    but your belief in the paranormal
    has you talking. You are walking
    through dark and abandoned places
    seeing faces in the woodwork,
    being a jerk to ambivalent apparitions
    under the strangest conditions.
    There are footsteps down the hall,
    a distant call from beyond
    the next room. There is no doom
    in death that the living can’t provide.
    There is a little voice inside your head.
    Is it the voice of the dead?
    Just don’t talk back, or they’ll be back.

  9. Lady W

    The ball of fur hit me hard
    It was full of memories
    Left in a shed of the past
    Where all we had was smiles
    Snuggled in embraces we loved
    And the body fragrances we lost
    The coffee ring mingles in mind
    Questions left unanswered hurt
    Like the reasons in fake gel
    Even if you moved on, I stand
    Seeking the person I was
    When you were my only reality
    Today I send you these words
    Wanting you to drain me away
    In troubles or smiles I gather
    With memories you left in basket
    Filled with emotions only mine.

  10. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Who the hell are you to
    talk to me about communication?
    Like you ever write back! Numbskull!
    Do me a favour communicate with your
    Harpies – they are giving me a rash!
    Talking of communication – somebody
    speak to that bullpen, will they? This win one –
    lose one season start is giving another rash!
    Games on at the sports bar – see you at seven.
    Bring money for wings.

    Scratchily yours
    Ringo the Howler

  11. drwasy

    THE MINISTER’S WIFE WRITES A SERMON

    You call this timbered space
    a church, yourselves
    congregants communing
    as one to find a One

    but behind your crooked
    smiles, your hoary handshakes
    stand adultered hearts
    and gluttonous envies

    and this—
    this I would utter to you,
    Judas friends: before
    you throw words my way

    peer into your chalice,
    find what reflects
    what shines brightest
    and name it: opposite.

    But here I am impotent,
    here I stay, stultified,
    made small
    under the bell jar.

    ***
    Happy PAD everyone! Looking forward to poeming with all, and happy to see so many familiar folks. Thank you Robert, and congratulations on 5 years! Peace, Linda S-W

  12. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Nothing Left to Say

    The muse was caught
    The muse was boxed
    The muse was buried
    deep in the Earth
    and forgotten…

    …it struggled for a while
    but finally lay still
    and quiet…

    …mulling
    pondering,
    contemplating.

    It had come as a complete surprise
    that it was no longer required
    almost as much of a surprise
    as the fact that it had nothing left to say.

    So it lay there still
    dormant
    waiting
    to wake in spring
    and burst forth
    like a fresh new bloom
    stretch to the sky
    and try
    try
    try
    once more.

    Iain

    What is this “posting too quickly” nonsense? HMMM already feeling put off…

  13. Aylat

    I’m new here and marvelling at the beauty of everyone’s poems!

    Posting again because yesterday it said awaiting moderation, and today it’s disappeared.

    Untitled

    I used to be articulate, lucid, precise.
    I conjured burning metaphors, my mouth bursting spice.
    I split your hairs so carefully, rebraiding very fine.
    My castles towered in the air, straight in every line.

    Now words falter from my teeth
    Paler than my thought
    Like the dress delivered from the online catalogue
    They fall short

    My treadmilled brain can’t lift its head
    I’ve covered many miles but my soul is bled.

    The rust I’ll scrape off from my tools
    Polish to a shine
    And the first words that I need to speak
    Are mine to me.

    1. dextrousdigits

      I loved, “my mouth bursting spice”, “castles towered in the air” “words falter” “the dress delivered from online..” “my treadmilled brain” Good job

  14. Jaywig

    Day 1 – a communication poem

    He drops in unexpectedly.
    To cheer me up? Keep me posted?
    To tell me he and the missus
    are doing just fine?
    My heart skips as

    in his jewelled blue suit
    he bounces on the cream brick
    paving, tail like a wagging finger.
    I can’t help myself:
    Hullo Mr Wren! I call through
    the window.

    At which he hop-steps-and jumps
    off human territory
    onto the low branches of a gum tree.

  15. KarenWalcott

    I know that you dream of travel
    Of seeing the ocean, of feeling hot
    Sand between your toes, of camping in the forest
    Underneath 100 year old redwoods, their lush
    Green canopies yearning to the sky, of seeing Paris
    From the top of the Eiffel Tower, of walking across
    The golden gate bridge, watching sea lions sunbathing
    Of walking down the streets in Barbados
    Eating roasted corn and drinking Guiness
    But there are Zombies out there and
    you are as safe as you can be within the Enclave

  16. pearl

    http://lanijo.com/poetry/leave-message

    Hello, you’ve reached me
    Well, not me, just a part of me
    My voice on the phone
    Your heart on the line and
    I’m sorry I can’t take your call.
    I’m not in, or I’m in and not
    answering because, well
    the reasons are too
    numerous to mention
    but I’m glad you called
    I’m glad we’ve connected
    If only for a moment
    If only in my dreams
    so please leave a message
    after the beep.

  17. Sheryl

    Unformed

    Heavenly Father,

    In this new month
    habits could trump thinking,
    and days whiz past
    without conscious thought.

    Former of the once-
    formless earth, help me
    form this month’s actions
    with your priorities mind.

    Sheryl Kay Oder

  18. deedeekm

    we sing and yell
    say never tell but always
    do we can’t compel
    ourselves to hush
    to not say much is
    out of touch with
    who we are
    we facebook, tweet
    and update all
    for all must know
    our daily doings
    a fascination
    with our lives
    ourselves we delve
    into the details
    like staring at entrails
    as though they hold
    the secrets coldly
    we are just immune to
    world around
    outside means nothing
    when you’re social
    bound to laptop, cellphone
    tablet, players
    take your pick of any flavor
    you be the star
    of your own little drama
    just have a look
    it’s a me-orama

  19. Mr. Walker

    Communication

    I could whisper from far, far away
    but you might think I’m trying to trick you

    What trick is this, you’d ask,
    but couched as a whisper I can’t hear

    I could shine a light on my point
    or I could just point at the string

    of conversations we’ve had and trust you
    to find the light’s shine all on your own

    Or I could string you along
    so that you’d wish for a truth

    that you could smell or taste,
    or pet or paw as if it were a shape

    to be held, when you know the smell
    of subterfuge and the taste of bitterness,

    angry that I’ve treated you as a pet,
    smacked your paw with a rolled newspaper

    And then I light a cigarette from my pack,
    blowing smoke signals at you,

    trying to pack as much information
    in every motion that I make,

    the shape of every syllable and sound,
    the wish I breathe as I shape this poem

  20. vincegotera

    Dear Mr. Frost, or may I call you Jack . . .

    Where’ve you been hanging these past few months?
    I only had to fire up the snow blower once. It coughed
    miserably, neglected and forlorn, before turning over
    and throwing some slush onto the brown lawn.

    Where was your wind, keen as new razor blades?
    Where were your white-out blizzards? Black ice?
    Your snow banks shouldering up to the eaves?
    Your crystal clear sleeves on twigs and branches?

    Were you maybe tending glaciers, making sure
    they didn’t calve icebergs into the shipping lanes.
    Or traffic-cop shepherding migratory birds, addled
    by strangely warm winds, the slipping magnetic field.

    That weird cold snap in the Azores in February,
    temps dropping down into the 60s, was that you?
    Catching rays on a sandy beach, trading white sand
    for white snow, your magenta Aloha shirt freezing

    to your frigid back and sternum. Listen up, Jack.
    Come your 4 billionth birthday, 23 December 2012,
    you better be back on the job. Ringing the moon with ice.
    Scissoring each and every snowflake into glittery lace.

  21. Lynn Burton

    A Voicemail to My Muse

    I’ve been trying to reach you all day,
    and you haven’t returned my calls.
    You’d think it’d be easier for us to connect
    but sometimes you’re so far out of reach
    you might as well be on another planet.
    Call me back. I really need to speak with you.

  22. vincegotera

    Dear Mr. Frost, or may I call you Jack . . .

    Where’ve you been hanging these past few months?
    I only had to fire up the snow blower once. It coughed
    miserably, neglected and forlorn, before turning over
    and throwing some slush onto the brown lawn.

    Where was your wind, keen as new razor blades?
    Where were your white-out blizzards? Black ice?
    Your snow banks shouldering up to the eaves?
    Your crystal clear sleeves on twigs and branches?

    Were you maybe tending glaciers, making sure
    they didn’t calve icebergs into the shipping lanes.
    Or traffic-cop shepherding migratory birds, addled
    by strangely warm winds, the slipping magnetic field.

    That weird cold snap in the Azores in February,
    temps dropping down into the 60s, was that you?
    Catching rays on a sandy beach, trading white sand
    for white snow, your magenta Aloha shirt freezing

    to your frigid back and sternum. Listen up, Jack.
    Come your 4 billionth birthday, 23 December 2012,
    you better be back on the job. Circling the moon with ice.
    Scissoring each and every snowflake into shimmery lace.

    by Vince Gotera

  23. bclay

    Hello everyone, I know it’s been a couple years now that I have participated here, but recently the muse has began calling again and I never refuse her to write, so I’m hoping to get these gears turning once more to enjoy another awesome April of poeming, great to hear so many familiar voices here, Thanks for the opportunity and all the effort that makes this possible Rob!

    Epidermal Truths

    Anguish is an easy word
    to utter through the mouth,
    but becomes more difficult
    to pronounce in mechanical
    tongues of tightening knuckles
    and spasming muscles beneath,
    and resonates longer with closed
    eye lids and the contracting brows
    that devastate diaphrams in breadth.

  24. donnellyk

    ON THE WINDOW

    Bleary eyed and straining to see
    through
    rivulets of rainwater around fingerprints
    left
    The five fingertip window press steamy
    lingering
    a love farewell imprinted slowly washing
    away
    when exactly did your kiss become perfunctory
    leaving
    me yearning for the deeper connect of old song filled
    times
    I waited by the window in the dusky evenings watching for your headlights
    curving
    into the gravel drive, light skimming over my fresh scrubbed face you
    striding
    up the walk not down and away, knuckles rapped playfully in
    those
    times of old when I had my nose pressed against the pane
    breathing
    heavily when verbal communication failed
    touch
    no longer ignited passion you became aloof
    unreachable
    your notes, further and fewer between void of passion
    you have no key now and I stopped lighting candles
    a smudged fingerprint taped
    rumpled
    piece of scrap paper, ink running in the
    rain
    “sorry I missed you”
    Gathered in my tiny fist
    balled tightly I lay on my pillow
    waiting
    for sounds of the crunching gravel
    lights
    to shine over my bedroom wall
    pinging
    pebbles to bounce off my window beckoning
    me
    to come and play and dance and sing with you
    again
    in the rain what are you trying to say to
    me
    I’ve become lost in the translation.

  25. Connie Peters

    I gave up posting comments because of them landing in the wrong place and getting the message about posting too quickly. So I was going to write a list of my favorites but that proved useless too since everyone is writing my favorites today. So great job, everyone!

  26. kwolf

    Today’s News about Tori Stafford

    You read too far
    you knew
    you should have looked away
    and now it plays
    over and over
    in your head

    so loud
    you cannot hear
    to think

    buzzing, ringing, crashing
    over and over
    a loop

    innocence
    violence
    described in detail
    combine
    to create a
    sick
    pit
    in your gut

    turn the page
    quickly now

    now

  27. AintNoNinny

    THE DAY SHE LEFT

    the day she left

    she woke to his lips on her neck
    his love tracing
    wordless shivers
    that she recognized even through the
    mask of sleep

    he danced his love in slow motion
    leaving all words
    for another to sing
    as his body guided hers through
    their closing time

    she lay across from his eyes
    saw the beginning
    and the end there
    and all the in-betweens that had
    brought them to now

    fear built a dam behind her heart
    but his encircling arms
    communicated
    a universe of possibilities
    that spoke loudly of hope

    even then,
    the day she left

  28. Sharon

    Crazy Love

    You said you didn’t
    Want to talk about it dear
    And yet if we didn’t
    How would you ever hear
    The very thing I need
    So awfully much to say.
    If you think to hide from me
    On this our wedding day.

    This dialogue from 30 years ago
    Still rings the empty knell
    Of words left unspoken
    A dully thumping bell.
    And yet our lives have been
    Full and joyous too,
    Your silences never kept me
    From crazily loving you.

  29. shann

    hey dave

    It’s been too many dead ringers since
    serious words puddled in my throat
    seeking your ear way north of Richmond
    while I fretted about whether spilling
    selected personal details down your shirt
    makes sense.

    Everything important starts
    in common circumstance, then slips slopes
    to land seat-first in a steady boat-
    the point being thinking about
    just talking with you
    grounds me most days

  30. Christod

    If you take a tick away
    from the clock, then you’re
    left with a tock with no
    rhyme nor reason to go
    on with a time

    who turned its hands
    from healing to reminding
    that there is no one to
    click to anymore.

  31. emagee

    the sinking sun
    signals
    suppertime
    for a chattery
    chipmunk.
    slowly but soulfully
    he seeks
    a fallen acorn
    or better–
    a slight spill
    from the feeder
    of a sweet songbird,
    who notices
    a striped stranger
    surveying
    the scene.
    she shimmies and
    at once, a shower
    of seed decorates the
    soil below.
    one savory surprise,
    after all,
    could be the beginning
    of a spicy,
    spring
    fling.

  32. singingpoet

    Your last message
    revised and sent @ 10pm April 1
    was garbled.

    Something about
    lost keys; misplaced sermon notes

    Your tone
    tired, clear
    found me,
    wanting to retrieve them
    and you.

    But where
    to begin…

  33. Charles Cote

    Meaning

    If I say spring think of falling
    twigs, the winter kill we’ll rake in April.

    If you say April think of pulling
    off your shirt and making love all night.

    If I say night think of seeing
    stars and moonlight in the harbor.

    If you say harbor think of holding
    back a river from the ocean.

    If you say ocean think of waiting
    for an answer to a question.

    If you say question think of telling
    me how hard and that it’s final.

    If I say final think of nothing
    and that silence says it all.

  34. Nimue

    Each week, you return to me
    with no new words or messages,
    each week I welcome still
    with open arms,smiling
    at the god’s gift
    even for time being.
    I tell my fears and secrets
    in details,shamelessly
    to you alone and spaces
    that your kisses leave
    between my curses
    to you,myself and living,
    struggling to be free
    of either you or the habit
    to need, regularly.

  35. maggzee

    The News
    (for Carlo)

    If we read the news as Dr. Seuss
    Some awful whimsy might break loose
    Hard to talk of war and crime
    In splat foot rhythm and free form rhyme

    China, Iraq and then Iran
    What rhymes with Afghanistan?
    Empty words and fake decorum
    Gingrich, Romney and Santorum

    Let’s have a night where nightly news is
    Read by budding Dr. Seusses
    The weather map and traffic jam
    Brought to you by Green Eggs and Ham

  36. Nikki Markle

    “Venus & Mars”

    She was from Venus;
    He was from some other place.
    She asked questions and prompted responses.
    He stuck to the basics and issued orders.

    “It’s getting cool outside, right? Should you maybe take a coat, you think?”
    “It’s cold. Take a coat.”

  37. Marie Elena

    In order to only post once (since my computer is soooo not communicating quickly enough with the site), I’m going back to the old way of commenting.

    It’s great to be together again for another April! Unfortunately, I’m afraid my time will be quite limited for reading/commenting as I love doing. Bummer. But I’m going to try to keep up as best I can.

    Today’s favorites are:

    Hannah’s “Close Talking”
    Immaginealchemy’s “Confession” (I don’t believe I’ve seen your work before. Hoping to see much more!)
    Sara McNulty’s “I know just how you feel.”
    Kendall A. Bell’s “Dissection.”
    JanetRuth’s untitled piece. (Live for the love of it makes another appearance!)
    Sharon Ingraham’s untitled piece (how adorable is that!)
    Marian V’s “Hands”
    Buddah’s “Tips”
    Euphrates’ “Things we take for granted”
    Walt Wojtanik’s “Whisper Something”
    Clauds’s “Five Star” (Wow … so different from you, my friend!)
    Everything Jackson!

  38. singingpoet

    Your last message
    sent @ 10pm April 1
    was garbled.

    Something about
    lost keys; misplaced sermon notes

    Your tone
    tired, clear
    found me,
    wanting to retrieve them
    and you.

    But, alas
    where do I
    begin.

    Frank Faine

  39. Benjamin Thomas

    UNTOUCHABLE

    Dear Dad,

    I regret the fact that I missed your passing…
    March 20, 2012– 5:20 am
    Even though I endured a long and hardy 31 hour trek,
    1800 miles non-stop across 8 states without sleep–
    I still missed you by three hours.
    You were so close, yet so far away,
    so untouchable, unreachable.
    and now this moment would be unforgettable,
    indelibly etched, engraved on my heart
    cracked and riven.

    You had already made your departure from
    “Heaven on earth” as you called it, Arizona.
    the moment I received that text and
    those words flashed across my cell:
    “Dad passed this morning,” was nothing less than Hell on Earth.
    Down the 17, through the San Francisco peaks,
    across Happy Valley road without a smile,
    it seemed like it would never end–
    skirting mountain after mountain, I envied their stability,
    jealous over their steadfastness,
    while I toppled over in anguished tearful tyranny
    hemmed in by desert lands parched and deprived
    while I lie soused in a sea of hapless emotion…

    But I knew it was your time to go.
    my only regret is that I wish we could’ve connected more.

    Anyways, I love you, Dad.

    1. MiskMask

      Benjamin, this is so touching, and it touched me deeply. My father passed away when I lived halfway around the earth, and I wasn’t told until after he died. It’s a heartache that shakes a person to the core. Bless, and I hope you find peace.

      ~ Misky

  40. seingraham

    Truly Yours

    Sincerely meant
    Each time we leave
    and always exchange
    Just a few words:

    “We’ll be in touch”
    “Oh – for sure”
    “Don’t forget – you too”
    “Don’t be a stranger”

    The best of intentions
    fall into disarray
    as time slips by
    The interconnected
    web becomes less so
    every day.

    S.E.Ingraham

  41. sarite

    So exciting to be n our 5th year! Who woulda thunk it?

    Was drawing a blank and then had a coversation with myself…

    Compost comfort
    The recipe called for a cup of basil
    I cut the whole plant
    Washing dark green stems
    Still fragrant from being
    Sliced from their life source
    A pang in my chest
    Who am I, what gives me the right
    To end it’s solar stretch, and
    Budding future?
    Life is not infinite
    I consoled myself
    Some day I’ll be great
    Compost
    Feeding future sprouts
    Of green

  42. Dan Collins

    Primary Lateral Discussion

    How do you talk
    about something
    that moves at the speed
    of decay? What about
    all those missing

    neurons? I’ve caught
    a touch of death –
    but not to worry, it will
    probably be a slow one – I just try

    to remember that emptiness
    always keeps a few
    secrets.

    Here is one: I am
    losing the use of my legs.
    But I’m not complaining;
    everyone
    is losing something …
    What I hate

    is that our conversation
    revolves around what
    is disappearing into dust
    as much as what is coming
    into being: All

    those wobbly things
    rolling out
    like new horses, eager,
    unsteady –
    yet ready to outrun
    us, like little Secretariats.

  43. Kelly Eastlund

    Pointed Questions

    I’d known her for five minutes
    and had already seen her breasts—
    bare nipples pointed at a sunlit window
    as she sat on the floor
    mending her shirt.

    In that communal house
    where every nook bleeds art and the
    bookshelves are arranged by color,
    I should have known the usual
    rules would not apply.

    “So what do you do?” I ask.
    “Can you ask a more pointed question?” she requests.
    And so the game begins.
    “Do you work, or…?”
    “Can you ask an even more pointed question?”
    Her blue eyes appraise me.

    “Um, do you have a job?” I flounder.
    “More pointed still?”
    When I don’t respond, she finally relents:
    “Are you asking what I do to make money?”
    “Yes,” I say, but what I should have said was

    Never mind.
    I’ll roll my rounded question away,
    bounce it down the pretty steps,
    go where people are kind enough
    to gently toss it back
    instead of puncturing it.

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