November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 22

For a collection (whether poetry, music, or whatever), I really like it when the individual pieces communicate with each other. So, for today’s poem, I want you to pick one of your earlier poems from this month and write a poem that is a response to that earlier poem.


To make it very immediate, you could write a response to yesterday’s confessional poem. Or you could reach back to Day 17’s Love Poem, Day 7’s Myth Poem, etc. I’m sure those reading along would love it if you include to which day’s poem you are responding, too.


For my part, I think I’ll respond to my Day 20 poem, which is also the longer version of Day 3’s refrain poem. Talk about some interconnectedness.


Here’s my attempt for the day:


“I am the woman standing inside my house”


wondering if you are watching me through my open windows;

I left all my doors unlocked and tried watching television;

my fingers play with the remote, and I listen intently;

when you make a noise, I will investigate;

if the lights are off, I will not turn them on;

I will not hesitate to walk into the darkness,

so that I can’t see who or what is coming my way.

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61 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 22

  1. Terri Vega

    Response to Day #6 (Praise)

    And now I sleep, resting
    in winter’s solitude. My rose
    petals blacked and thorns exposed.
    My song has turned to lullaby.

    Scents of rosemary are veiled in
    snow that covers the gentle
    green spires.

    Kitties play but the peppermint
    stays snug in the hardened soil
    its watchful eyes closed as
    the romping paws fall short to keep
    the belly out of the frozen

    The spider’s web has rusted
    fallen to the wayside and life is quite.
    The dance has ended as the waiting days
    of tomorrow have arrived.

  2. Juanita Snyder

    ok….original first, response poem second….–spidey

    room 429
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    she stepped out from under the overhang and into the downpour,
    relieved at the chance to ditch ghosts four stories up,
    their faces vapor-locked against glass, peering from room 429.

    she had come to the big city on business, hoping to catch the eye
    of all the right people and further advance her career. instead,
    she caught the affections of a young supernatural in room 429.

    she first felt it’s presence when the keycard swiped the door,
    felt it riffle curiously through her things like an invite when she
    laid open her suitcase at the foot of the bed in room 429.

    she thought on her mother, their line of shared gifts –
    apparitions with dancecards lining the halls
    awaiting messiahs outside room 429.

    she sensed the entity’s childlike loneliness, attaching itself
    like an unwanted pet to the back of her wool skirt,
    dragging across carpet in sheer desperation inside room 429.

    she empathized at first, until the weight of it all began popping
    rivets surrounding her heart, filling lungs with radon
    ‘til her hands pushed opened the heavy door of 429.

    she fumbled her way past shadowy figures, glad for
    the knowledge of spirits and their aversion to water,
    eager to unhinge from the haunting in room 429.

    she stepped out from under the overhang and into the downpour,
    relieved at the chance to ditch ghosts four stories up,
    their faces vapor-locked against glass, peering from room 429.

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder


    ghost from room 429
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    sorry i scared you; sometimes we ghosts just forget our manners.
    it’s just i’m so thrilled somebody can actually see my face
    vapor-locked against glass, 4 stories up, peering from room 429.

    i’m lonely and just wanted your company; loved the smell of your
    perfume, sound of your voice, wished you could hold my hand and
    pretend you were my mother, just for a little while here in 429.

    you’d think ghosts could somehow reunite after death, but
    it doesn’t quite work that way. i’m tied forever to this place,
    dog on a chain, emotional wreck, rat hole supernatural 429.

    i can take orb form but much prefer full body apparitions.
    i can read your thoughts, feel your emotions, whisper in your ear,
    throw objects, slam doors, shake your bed in room 429.

    i can climb stairs, flicker lights, fill the hall with music or a
    thousand voices if i want; tap and knock with the best of ‘em,
    chill a room in nothing flat, inside or out of room 429.

    i can make appliances misbehave, rearrange furniture, shred
    clothes and steal items in locked suitcases, become shadows &
    vapors on whim anytime anywhere, in the wing of room 429.

    i can drain batteries, wilt houseplants, make elevators go berserk,
    smell like roses or sulphur, and at my own choosing,
    show up as anomalies in photos or on film from behind door 429.

    you must realize of course, your ghost buster equipment is
    laughable at best, all those gadgets to measure and rule out.
    ghosts never tire, ghosts never sleep, from hauntings in room 429.

    we’ve no respect for thrill-seekers and the wannabe messiahs,
    and can’t seem to steer clear from non-believers; so we
    lie in wait, apparitions with dancecards outside room 429.

    we seek naturals like yourself who can feel our self-torture
    let us hide in your hair, hold our hands, really “get” us,
    kind strangers with free passes home, away from cell 429.

    though our numbers must frighten & overwhelm, keep in mind
    as we line up for the chance to jump ship, we’re really just kids
    desperate for a stranger’s busticket gift home from gate 429.

    so sorry we scared you; please forgive our manners, it’s just
    we’re so thrilled somebody actually saw our faces,
    vapor-locked against glass, 4 stories up, waiting in room 429.

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. Kathy Kehrli

    XXII. If It Isn’t Handed Over, It’s Our Obligation

    “Right now without that paper,
    If his heart were to stop
    We’d have to shock him, you know,”
    Implying what a fair swap
    Would be the handover exchange
    But what he failed to see:
    By relinquishing living will,
    I’d give up a part of me.

  4. Kate Berne Miller

    A Response to the love poem post.

    Twins,Separated At Birth

    The summer girls are living next door to each other, a half a mile of fallow field between their houses. All summer long they wear a path through the wildflowers, eating breakfast at one house, lunch at the other, writing poems and playing Hearts, tubing down the river in the hot afternoons. One is a live-in babysitter, taking care of a city family’s five children, the youngest is a baby, the oldest almost twelve. It’s nothing to her, she has fifteen brothers and sisters at home, she can’t remember all their ages, but she sure
    knows a lot of card games.

    The other girl is visiting her grandmother, they share the same room. At night the old woman sits on the edge of her bed and undoes her bun, a rope of twisted hair, strands of white and grey streaked with silver, spilling around her shoulders like a mane. After the light is switched off, the girl lies in her bed listening to her grandmother’s snores, deep and steady for a long time, then, all of a sudden, silence. She holds her breath, counting, “one-one hundred, two-one hundred, three” like waiting for thunder after the first flash of lightening, until her grandmother inhales sharply, sputters, resumes her sonorous song. Sometimes she wakes to the smell of smoke, her grandmother standing by the window, the red glow from a cigarette tracing lines in the dark.

    The last night of vacation the girls go back and forth through the field, walking through flickering light and shadow, each not wanting to be the last to say goodnight, goodbye.
    At last they lie down on their backs in the center of the field, fingers intertwined, their eyes grainy from lack of sleep, above them the morning star swimming in a froth of blue,
    something worth keeping

  5. S.E.Ingraham

    Judy – I’ve just been browsing back, reading things I might have missed the first go ’round and I came to your "Answers:" – I don’t mind telling you, it made me weep. You tell a heart-breaking story with a poignant eloquence, and I don’t imagine any of it gets told easily. I applaud your courage and look for your work every day. Sharon I.

  6. Judy Roney

    This was the hardest prompt for me. It really had my searching in the depths. I picked the "love" poem to respond to. The first stanza is my love poem, the second is my response and so on.

    Answers :

    I loved my Dad,
    He said he loved me
    that I was special
    and the abuse got worse.
    Misplaced love. Loss of childhood.

    I did love you, Judy
    I didn’t know how to show
    you were special to me
    but alcohol was more important
    I got caught up in a cycle
    People can only give what they have.

    My first husband said
    he loved me and would
    even spout scripture as
    he beat my head against the wall.
    Mistaken love. Loss of dreams.

    I wanted you to be my wife
    I wanted to love you, too
    I didn’t know how to be a husband
    I didn’t know how to be a man
    Sometimes people try hard but they don’t have the tools

    I love you like my own mother
    said Gracie before she pulled off
    the burglary of our business and
    took everything meaningful to me
    from our safe, not to mention the money.
    Con love. Loss of safety.

    I loved you like my own mother, Judy
    Just like I told you I did
    My mother abandoned me when I was two
    I only imagined she’d care like you
    I left Mexico with good intentions
    I’m sorry you got caught in my failure

    to be the type of person you thought I was.

    The Bible says Jesus loves me
    I believed, I knew he’d take care
    of my children, that was my only prayer.
    Enchanted love. Loss of faith.

    You are precious to me, Jesus says
    through the Bible he tells me so
    though I’ve had my life shattered
    along with my faith
    I’m trying to pick up the pieces
    never doubting for one moment
    He was there. I wouldn’t be here
    if he didn’t care.

    I love you, Mom, I love you so much
    were the last words
    I ever heard from my son
    before he died by his own hand.
    Sometimes love just isn’t enough.
    Loss of heart.

    I know you loved me son, I believe that
    with all my heart. I know you couldn’t stay
    you weren’t strong enough. You knew we’d
    carry on where you couldn’t. We’d find our
    way, your love is our light. You couldn’t have
    known how deep our love for you. You weren’t
    a father, you couldn’t know. I forgive you
    I love you I always will. You’re my boy,
    my precious, my son.

  7. Jane penland hoover


    If you were to ask and I to tell
    how he both stayed and left himself,
    what had been his body,
    his life late that night,
    left me and his two daughters

    And how the four of us, a few others
    tramped along, pushed him, we filling in,
    filling up his silence, his awkward moves,
    and our wanting something different

    How he saved his blue-eyed smile
    flashed it broad and cheery, and
    how we each worked to return favor,
    a bit of laughter when we could

    And if you asked, I could go on and on
    about copying, routines and how he delivered
    the daily news, his two girls riding high
    on the pile, pointing out which door

    How driving skills remained though words failed him,
    how smiling and retaking one test and another and…
    until his persistence earned a roade test,
    his driving won the smile of the stiff officer

    If you were to ask him anything,
    he’d brighten; maybe find a word or two
    like ‘fine or bad on long-time-ago,’ speak it
    with slim shadow of emotion, return to his book,
    his 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, or TV sports event
    unless it’s time for dinner.
    Then he’d release the footed chair rest,
    move to get his jacket never grumbling
    at the stuffing he must do to cram one
    weak arm through the length of sleeve.

    Moving on, making one more day,
    remembering where we lived,
    what roads we’ve traveled,
    which ones we yet intend to map,
    some remnants for my writing pen.
    if you should ask…

  8. Monica Martin

    When two people move in together,
    it’s a huge change. I know you’re
    scared; in truth, so am I. But
    we talk and work well together,
    and I think we can make it. I
    can’t wait to try.

  9. PSC in CT

    My DAY 22 Response poem “Why Stop Time?” appears below the original myth poem from DAY 7 (included here):

    The Superman Myth (DAY 7)

    Superman’s a myth, my dear,
    I’m sorry, but it’s true.
    His strength could be a thing sublime,
    But it won’t help me and you.

    It’s possible – just maybe –
    That he’s great at fighting crime
    But even Superman, I fear,
    Can’t stop the hands of Time.

    – – – – – – –

    Why Stop Time?

    Now why, dear friend
    Should I intend
    To stop the dance of time?
    And when?

    Should fear of unknown, lack of facts
    Keep me frozen in my tracks?

    Why want or need
    To do this deed
    When every moment that goes by
    Brings love and beauty to my eye?

    Could I forgo what lies ahead
    Just to foil being dead?

    And just where should I choose to stop?

    Which point of love and laughter
    Would truly make it worth my while
    To give up what comes after?

    It’s true old bones may crack and break
    Old joints may stiff and sting
    But after death – for all we know –
    Is laugh and dance and sing

    I may be in the ebb of life
    When hair and bones grow thin
    But if the best is after death
    I’m ready to begin.

    So stopping time is not my goal
    Although it flies too fast
    I only want to figure out
    How best to make it last.

  10. Tyger

    Fear Not

    Fear not
    you to whom I owe such gratitude
    Though we may not see
    that promised tax cut right now
    may not achieve
    health insurance for a year or two
    and may not get our troops
    out of harms way for a term still
    I have not forgotten you
    Fear not
    for I labor daily
    to one day fulfill my promises
    I will not sit in comfort
    or sleep deeply in a silken bed
    or revel in stately splendor
    until the soldiers come home
    until the market has calmed
    until you who are hungry are fed
    and you who are sick find healing
    I am Barack Obama
    and I approve this message

  11. Shann Palmer


    Sometimes I put all my efforts
    into the wrong people, waiting
    for some change to bring me out
    from under this dissatisfaction.

    Write me a love song tonight,
    smooth as your honeyed words
    when I feel every lover’s hand
    I ever let slip away from mine.

    I’ll map the lines on my palm
    with my fingertip, see how far
    I get before I’m in the wilderness.

    Point me in a different direction,
    I can walk across Egypt alone
    before anyone notices I’m gone.

  12. SaraV

    I knew it!

    I knew that wasn’t just
    A twisted feather
    Floyd said I was
    Imagining things but
    I knew it!
    I had been pinched
    From underneath
    And in a sensitive spot
    I can dive underwater
    So next time I feel
    Any funny business
    Remember that my beak
    Is hard and I am quick!
    Geese don’t get mad
    We get even

  13. k weber

    poem for my new favorite band (twice removed)

    you were the sound-
    track of my college
    days: wafting out
    of a third floor
    window of the large
    alcove i shared
    with international

    i was a secret dj
    from my perch; watching
    people walk to the dining
    halls, wondering
    if they recognized
    your voices
    and all the percussive
    wavelengths, your

    saw you twice; once
    live in the sun
    and i was smiling
    on a patch of grass
    then later years
    would find me
    eyeing you on
    my 26th birthday,
    bored, then dropped
    my drink in a bar
    by accident

    didn’t listen
    to a word you
    said since
    and then one
    day you made
    perfect sense;
    all your songs
    autumnal, your
    longform jams
    about nuclear
    war and the occasional
    lines on all things

    turn me on
    with the turn
    of a phrase
    and all those
    strange pop
    culture references
    about 60s movie
    with bedroom
    eyelashes and
    the state
    of the state
    that lead me
    to the library
    to patch
    it all together

    eerie harmonies
    and ominous
    comedy, you keep
    reeling me back
    to those years
    i spent listening
    like a matador
    ready to take on

  14. k weber

    i am absolutely blown away by the day 22 pieces… some of the most clever, compelling and intriguing writes i have read through this month!

    ronda – love your piece to pieces. it exudes so much sensuality. great imagery.

    – k

  15. A.C. Leming

    I went back to day 6, praise poem, the firt one here. The Move is the response.

    The dojo

    Four walls don’t encompass it.
    The floor and ceiling don’t hem
    it in. Paint gilds the walls we take
    little notice of while the tatami
    cushions our falls. But without
    our Sensei opening this small
    space in this ancient mountain
    range, I would have strayed from
    the path. I struggle not to waver
    everyday. But I come back class
    after class, trying to find myself
    in the sweat I leave on the mat,
    the bruises I take with me the
    knowledge that seeps into
    my slow brain and the skills my
    stubborn muscles eventually master.

    The Move

    We moved the dojo today.
    Dismantled the tori gate.
    Stripped the walls bare.
    Pulled up the tatami mats.
    We piled it all into pickup
    trucks and drove farther
    back into these mountains,
    to the new walls that will
    encompass us. But as we
    all make this move I look
    further afield, to search out
    a new place to test myself,
    another space, another town
    another way.

  16. PSC in CT

    Yikes! I’m still struggling with my response poem, and I see that today’s prompt has already been posted. I just stopped in for a quick read (it’s never quick) and to comment on progress made so far. My favorites of today’s offerings (so far):

    Iain – The Newcomer is accurate (15 min riot/1 hr quiet) and so cute!

    Victoria – Loved the original — love the response equally.

    Patti – Nice job. (amazing, sometimes, what strangers don’t notice)

    Susan B – So very true.
    Mary K – Such a sad tale, such a nice tribute to mom!
    SEI – So very strong and sad. Made me cry again.
    Ronda – very hot and sensual. Well done!

    Nancy P – I liked Vatican City, but I loved Memory isn’t Linear. (It really captures very well how oddly memory works sometimes!)

    Shann P – Love how you interwove thoughts and words — nicely done!

  17. kate

    Congratulations to everyone still managing a poem a day. I seem to have hit the wall, I’m pretty sure this is where I crashed and burned in April!! (although I didn’t post online that time around).
    Best wishes

  18. Nancy Posey

    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican’s newspaper has finally forgiven John Lennon for declaring that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, calling the remark a "boast" by a young man grappling with sudden fame.

    "Where one burns books, one will soon burn people."
    –Heinrich Heine
    I heard the news today, oh boy, and
    wondered if, out there somewhere out
    in a way station of the afterlife, John and
    Galileo might be high-fiving. Would
    they be shaking their heads in wonder,
    muttering, “too little, too late”? What
    a fine line we tread between forgiveness
    and apology, after all, between lighting
    the fire and fueling the pyre. What kind
    of fire burns clean? Can piles of melted
    records, of burned books, be unburnt?

    Nancy Posey

  19. Shann Palmer


    I have chosen (Hymn 647)
    my funeral (Episcopal)
    arrangements (cremation)
    not knowing (hoping for)
    how and when (asleep/far off)
    my voice (my breath)
    will cease.

    It will it be told (after)
    that all is vanity (these very words)
    but beautiful (in the garden)
    for now (with you)
    I am (filled with life)
    astonished and (grateful)
    so grateful.

  20. A.C. Leming

    Have guests tonight, will have to catch up tomorrow. love what Ive read so far (imbibed a little red wine tonight :P) hope i c can live up to the posts so far

  21. Nancy Posey

    Memory Isn’t Linear

    If you paid as little attention
    to your mother as you do
    to your muse, she’d probably
    have changed to will by now,
    leaving her good china to your
    younger sister, the piano to

    If you called on me more,
    I could clear out this attic
    of your memories; instead,
    I have to dig around in the
    dark, picking out something
    you might use—the May
    day in Napa, your sixth grade
    graduation, the swat on your
    legs in third grade for something
    you didn’t do.

    Why do you mind when I
    cobble together something new
    from a bit of this, a bit of that,
    like those dreams you have when
    your childhood home has moved
    to your Grandma’s yard, when I
    bring together a friend you haven’t
    seen since Brownie camp, your high
    school counselor, and your best friend’s
    wife, like some dinner party
    you meant to host but never did?

    Your memory’s not a file cabinet,
    but a leather trunk, not a museum
    case but a tag sale. You must admit
    that part of the fun we have is the
    rummaging around when you happen
    to look me up.

    Nancy Posey

  22. Bruce Niedt

    This is in response to my Day 4 "soapbox poem", entitled "Banging on the Drums", where I sounded off about young people who listen to their care stereos and iPods too loudly. This is a response by one of the characters I observed:

    From “Mr. Urban Cool”

    Mind your own freakin’ business, old man –
    you don’t understand my music anyway.
    It’s made to be pumped through the bass,
    made to be jacked up through earbuds.
    If you don’t like it, tough – you probably
    drove your folks crazy with whatever it was
    you listened to – the Beatles, probably,
    or that boring folk crap. So if I give off
    vibrations that rattle your minivan
    at the light – deal with it. I’m cool,
    and I testify to that with hundred-decibel rap.
    It’s how I announce my ride, and as far
    as hearing loss goes, why should I worry?
    Don’t forget – I’m immortal, but I live
    like there’s no tomorrow.

  23. Ronda Eller

    My yesterday poem is here with today’s. Today’s is a reply to it. Both have formatting that will be lost by this text editor though. My theme (as a reminder) is Dreams. Ronda

    xxi. red blanket rodeo

    we wove the red blanket
    one thread, then
    the next
    cross-stitching the fabric

    (yours first, then
    then yours)

    and we bathed
    in this libertine tryst,

    our interest

    on consummating
    the pattern
    of our illicit bedroom

    draping our nakedness
    with oblivion,
    deposing the rights
    of walls as we faded them
    away behind
    of ruby breasts
    budding with fervour
    against hot, succulent lips,
    bronco thighs embraced
    and bucking

    in our lovers’ rodeo
    across three bedroom arenas
    … simultaneously knotted
    in a single dream.

    xxii. red blanket rodeo 2

    we were there
    and we remember

    our astral bodies
    the core of our
    selves engorged.
    we felt the pulsing
    fullness of our spirits.

    as a heated trinity
    we transcended
    flesh, experienced
    our unfettered bodies
    mounting, discharging
    and recharging

    until morning’s climax
    carried us out,
    away from the arena
    and home
    to open eyes.

    ~ Ronda Eller 2008

  24. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Adderbolts Response to Your Fleeting Glance

    I flutter around
    Close to your head
    My wings kissing
    Your cheeks
    You flicker your eyes
    Round in your head
    Desperately trying
    To catch me

    You think it’s like
    A dream
    Something magical
    And something special
    And kissing your cheek?
    Actually I’m scarring
    Your memory
    I’m giving you
    A warning
    That one day
    We will get you

    Maybe not today
    Maybe not now

    But in the next life.

  25. Cheryl Chambers

    A semi response to yesterday’s poem

    The Spiritual Border

    You paper the walls of your room with ideas
    and name brands. Underneath this canopy
    of withered philosophies you ponder the meaning
    of life. So does Neal. He resides on the spiritual
    border and doesn’t permit aliens. He is heavy
    lidded today and underestimating his worth more
    than usual. If he is worth the value of dust
    this life has been worth living. It’s unfortunate
    Jesus saves because Neal has not officially asked
    Him yet, but only skirted the issue behind closed
    doors, waiting for the wallpaper to catch
    up with his faded soul. Both need to be redone.

  26. Rodney C. Walmer

    Ok, this is just weird, I have never ever responded to a poem of my own before. Thank you for the new experience Robert, I actually was able to think of things from a different point of view.

    In response to “If it works, it’ don’t need fixin’”

    Reaching the Unreachable

    True one hundred years ago
    the children learned to read
    but, how many did not know
    how to do simple mathematics
    ending up with families
    they were unable to feed

    I am certain it can be agreed
    this country had been losing
    way to many to way to many a trade school
    the time came for some infusing
    of knowledge to those too cool
    to crack a book

    So, the scholars took a look
    analyzed the situation
    educational foundations shook
    teachers don’t like change
    suddenly they needed to find an accommodation
    for children they managed through exchange

    As children’s rights grew
    each year was met with methods that were new
    as each new technique failed
    they watched students scores trail
    these methods were soon labeled by the educator
    as the flavor of the month
    Suddenly teachers had a lot more to do

    So, the question arose
    why teach?
    We go into this profession
    certainly not for the money
    no, for the children we can reach
    will be any instructors confession

    While it can be agreed
    that not every new idea
    will meet each and every child’s need
    much like the local pizzeria

    every need is different
    so variety is what they need
    a brilliant deduction
    one that would lead to educational destruction
    as teachers would start data driven differentiated instruction
    to individualize
    the learning experience
    the powers that be, would never realize
    how they made education less about the child
    now more about what is and is not filed

    True, with the need for success at heart
    teachers were invited to take part
    in the new ways of education
    embraced by those with dedication
    it was ridiculed by those who’d seen enough
    citing, how one hundred years ago
    things were tough
    they won’t even give the new ideas a chance
    no matter what the circumstance
    they will stick to their tried and true
    ways that no longer do
    what they were originally able to do
    these teachers are just too fed up
    to try anything new. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer November 22, 2008, response poem to If it works, it’ don’t need fixin’.

  27. satia

    Theme: Vertigo

    This is a response to Day 9 and Day 17 (the dream and love poems)

    Touch Me

    I miss our dancing days
    The ways you moved with me
    But now afraid to touch me
    You let so much fall away.
    Still you hold hope as easily
    As you hold me every night
    So tight that I can’t fall away.
    Because of you, I feel too much
    My own weakness when you
    Doubt my strength or the power
    Of your untouchable love.
    It’s your fear of hurting me
    That makes me mistrust most.

  28. S.E.Ingraham

    I thought I had posted this…but don’t see it, so once more…
    Writing about the thin membrane separating the sane from the insane (state of mind), I’ve found myself exploring the reasons, or triggers that tend to split that membrane. While this poem could be a reply to any number of this month’s posts, I think it applies particularly to #2, "Anything to Declare" and maybe, #17, "Becoming Invisible". Coincidentally, I have a poem addressing this same topic posted on WD’s Poetry critiquing forum, for anyone who’s interested, "Dearest Dark Angel".

    Why the Colour Yellow Makes Me Cry

    We had barely begun to tie the ribbons when she got the news
    I noticed the car first, stealing like a grey ghost,
    Moving slowly, too slowly, stopping finally across the street
    Two senior officers unfolded themselves
    As if in concert, their faces serious,
    wearing what all wives know as ‘The Look';
    The insignia on the car-door attested to the news carried
    Even had they been able to adjust their demeanour,
    change their intent
    Hide the news crouching behind their eyes,
    lurking in their hearts
    She saw them as they crossed the street,
    sat down hard atop the ladder
    Her hand, of its own volition, flattened against her chest,
    as if to stay her heart
    She looked to me then, her eyes begging me to tell her
    it wasn’t true
    I helped her down, wrapped my arms around her,
    trailing yards of yellow
    Yards as bright as sunshine, yellow ribbon,
    bright, welcome-home, yellow ribbon
    Spilled obscenely, puddled at our feet, as, hats removed,
    the officers stood at attention
    Prepared to tell her there would be no need
    for yellow ribbons for her son
    When he came home – no – his colours would be
    red and white, his coffin wrapped
    In his country’s flag as it made its sad pilgrimage
    over the sea, and back home.

    The officers wanted to drive her home but she refused,
    had to finish tying ribbons on trees
    So, until there was no more ribbon, we worked silently,
    tying bow after bow after bow
    It was twilight when we finally started back to my car;
    we hadn’t spoken since she heard
    The silence was eerie but fitting somehow, besides,
    what was there to say
    Another Canadian life lost in Afghanistan;
    what happened to our nation of peace-keepers
    I wondered for perhaps the trillionth time,
    feeling more than an a little ill with the futility of it
    Were we making a difference over there?
    Were we being sold a bill of goods over here?
    How many more of our young people were going to be
    shipped home in body bags before we would rise up
    Rise up and say,’enough, enough –
    Do not send any more of our future to that place, – enough’.


  29. Mary K

    This poem responds to my November 18 poem:

    To Mother

    It has been twenty-one years next week since you died.
    Though it has been a long time I still see you as you were
    then, still hear your words, your voice. Twenty-one years
    ago today you’d been preparing Thanksgiving dinner, all fixings

    in the refrigerator waiting for family to gather. At your house,
    all was ready. Then you died. Suddenly. Heart attack.
    We had the turkey, the one from your refrigerator, the day before your funeral. It was prepared at my sister’s home.

    We knew you would have wanted the family feast to go on,
    but you weren’t there with us to gather, and we had an
    empty plate at the table. Yours. Two decades have passed.

    I still think of you this Thanksgiving. Not that I don’t
    think of you other times during the year. I have the
    feeling that you planned the time of your own death
    for a time when the family would gather, so we all would be

    together in support, and Thanksgiving seems appropriate
    as there was a lot to be thankful for, in your life and in your death. Mother, I did learn your lessons. People are most important.Family comes first. Even if you are a shy person,

    you can do do brave things if you have to. One person’s voice can make a difference. If you don’t like the way things are,
    you can go somewhere else where your voice will matter. Or you
    can make a change. You can always write for yourself and

    for others. You never know where your influence ends.
    Your influence will lve on, Mother. Know that.

  30. patti williams

    Don – I HATE the cold!!! Wearing two sweaters right now and I live in Texas!
    Iain – You know I’m a huge fan … and once again … you shine.
    Connie – Loved the poem today!

  31. SusanB

    Today’s Poem speaks to my Celebration Poem which talks about life as a celebration and my Response poem speaks to life as a most precious gift.


    Pop the cork on that champagne
    Light the candles
    Wave the flag
    Applause Applause Applause!

    Life is not a highway
    It’s a roller-coaster ride
    It twists and turns,
    Rocks and rolls
    Can be an uphill climb

    Hold onto your seats
    Are you strapped in?
    Just when you catch your breath
    A baby is born
    Christmas is here
    Another voice silenced
    We’ve won the war
    Keep hands in till the car has stopped
    And exit still smiling


    If you ask someone who is grossly deformed
    Would they rather not be here
    Most of the time
    They will tell you
    They rather would

    If you ask a baby if he’s sorry
    That he came down the birth canal
    He’d probably tell you
    That he’s not

    Ask any Centenarian if they wish
    They hadn’t lived quite as long as that
    And they will tell you without a doubt
    The secret of a good long life
    (Though they won’t know why they were chosen to live so long, in most cases)

    All creatures have a built-in survival mechanism
    That makes them push the limits
    For maximum thriving

    Makes you know for sure
    Life – the most wonderful and precious gift
    Should be cherished
    And savored
    Every last drop!

  32. Connie

    Penny, I teach creative writing to homeschoolers, too. I would be happy if you used my work. I just ask that you keep my name with it.

    And thanks to everyone that has commented about my work.

    I haven’t been keeping up on the reading and the commenting as I’d like, but there have been some really great ones. Good job everyone!

  33. patti williams

    I am responding to Day #3, sort of …

    For those that enjoy reading Heather’s "Lessons" each day, she may be a few days without posting. Her father-in-law is very ill so she will be at the hospital with family for an unknown period of time. I just wanted everyone to know the tragedy she is facing right now.

    I don’t understand how
    Strangers do not see
    The scars
    My heart has grown
    Over the pain.
    When I hold it close
    I’m always surprised
    To find it still beating
    Despite the blows,
    The tragedy,
    The memories it knows.
    The onlookers see my
    Smiling face, hopeful green eyes
    But do not know anything
    About the parts I’ve lost,
    The pieces damaged,
    Or of this,
    My broken little heart
    Still beating deep inside
    Through life,
    Trying to remain
    Open and loving.
    Still trying to trust
    And believe in the world
    That almost damaged
    The precious thing
    Beyond all repair.

  34. Sara McNulty

    Response to Night Terror

    I travel only
    by moonlight, my
    face hidden by
    a cloaked hood of
    jet black to better
    blend into darkness.

    I travel only
    by moonlight, pale
    and shimmering, a fog
    fragmenting cobblestone
    alleyways, their sole
    source of light.

    I travel only
    by moonlight, my
    face burned, twisted,
    too homely for a
    respectable vampire, his
    white skin smooth, lips red.

    I travel only
    by moonlight, my
    sword of silver a
    glinting guide in
    shades of gray to
    slice you into
    slivers, small
    hideous pieces of
    flesh so like my own.

  35. S Scott Whitaker

    Tiresias, At the Elks Home, Talks About Life after the Transformation

    They call a perversion
    But it’s really a good imagination,
    And like the old saying
    With imagination, I’ll get there,
    And where is there to get?
    It’s only a dress, after all.
    Nylons, heels, a sloppy mess
    And like a sculptor shape
    Skin into something other,
    Where sensation transforms
    And consciousness touches another place.

    It’s like I told my grandma,
    “I ain’t a sissy, but put me in heels I can walk forever.”

    It made sense to her, I guess,
    There was no cardiac arrest
    And my uncles and aunts went home drunk as usual.

  36. Lori

    Here is my earlier poemStep right up ladies and gentlemen
    take advantage while you can
    this offer good today only
    don’t miss the opportunity.
    To be all that you
    can be.
    Ever wanted to help?
    To be the hero?
    To save lives.
    Come one , come all to nursing school.
    It will only cost you a little time,
    a lot of heartache,
    and very little money
    in comparison.

    And here is the response.

    your pitch convinced me
    I went for it and found
    a little part of me that
    could be the hero
    save the lives
    bear the heartache
    But the rest of me is really tired right now
    So could you please tone down
    your chant
    I need to rest.

  37. Penny Henderson

    All fixed–up to date again. I think sometimes, if you type too long the code gets old, and doesn’t work.

    I found the site Nov 14 and just managed to catch up, cause I keep feeling compelled to read everything you guys were writing. I overcame that yesterday, although I plan to go back.

    A question–what is considered fair use here? I teach poetry workshops for homeschoolers, and would love to use some of Connie’s domino series to show writing to a theme, and Rachel’s ‘Garden of Sorrow’ to show making the setting real to the reader.

    Rachel and Earl– I fear my warning on day14 comes too late for all three of us—yay!

  38. Steve LaVoie

    Day 2: Old man Wellerman

    You have to hate him
    When he opens his mouth.
    Like the time we were walking
    Along and he says that religion
    Has left America.
    I turn to him and say that
    Everyone can’t afford salvation like he can.

    Then later on he rambles about
    How people don’t respect their elders.
    So how many times have you called someone
    A "little punk" or "no-good bum" today?
    He shuts up for five minutes.

    He then declares that me and my peers
    Have it too easy with all our technology
    And we would never
    Survived what he puts up with everyday.
    I tell him to go home to his loving wife
    And nice comfortable recliner.

    And here is his wife
    Day 22 "Response"

    Mrs. Wellerman

    My husband is so great.
    He is saved for all eternity
    And it is only three hundred dollars
    A month!

    But you know, the no-good punks
    And stupid young’uns don’t respect
    Him, so he has no choice but to
    Curse at them and spray them
    Down with a hose.

    Oh the young’uns have such
    Perfect lives, all of them.
    Suicide? Why would they
    Even think of that? There lives are

  39. Penny Henderson

    Okay–the question went through. I’ll try again.

    Day 22 response to day 6 with day six first

    Day 6 praise

    Thank God for surprises–
    the unexpected lurking round each corner:
    The vocal thoughts of children,
    buttercups in sidewalk cracks,
    rain from a blue sky,
    coins found where you forgot them,
    ants on the counter,
    ancients clocks, unwound,
    that strike the hour.
    If you’re bored, you’re
    not paying attention

    day 22 response

    Change is unsettling.
    I work to avoid it.
    When I find great shoes,
    I buy three pair.
    I carefully wash and line dry–
    so the dryer won’t force me
    to buy different clothes.
    I call BWI ‘Friendship Field’.
    I don’t yearn to move the furniture.
    Never tell me
    the neighbors are moving
    If I can keep all the same,
    I may scrimp by–safe.

  40. Penny Henderson

    This driving me crazy–the site won’t accept my posts from the 20th on. Am I doing something wrong–all the reswt went through.

    why do I expect answers, when this probably won’t sork, either

  41. Karen H. Phillips

    Whoa, Don, I felt a chill just reading that!
    Connie, excuse the pun, but I love how you’re building your domino theme.
    Iain, awwww–your Newcomer made me miss my kitties, as I’m away this weekend and love their warmth in my lap while I write.
    Rachel, I enjoyed both poems, especially your message.

    Day 2
    Monsieur Monet

    I obsess the light.
    Morning I paint, noon, twilight, night.
    When the disease blurs my vision,
    the blots, dots, and blobs of
    oils or watercolors
    increase my delight,
    for when I leave my world of
    sea cliffs
    water lilies
    and the house at Givergny
    I will leave it as a legacy
    for the woman who walks the gallery
    and dives into paintings
    like Alice through the glass.


    To the Artist

    I pause a moment,
    in a daze,
    overcome by the beauty
    you and your peers left for me—
    a legacy of light and color,
    dazzling in brilliance,
    brilliant in hue,
    brilliant in talent,
    transforming the ordinariness
    of everyday nature,
    of mundane life,
    into ethereal and
    spiritual joy.

    As I stand here,
    in the center of the gallery,
    I listen to the hushed tones
    of other visitors.
    They whisper at times.
    Occasional laughter ripples
    through the quiet.

    It’s my privilege to partake
    in the feast,
    bask in the glory,
    as I soak myself
    in your version
    of creation.
    Whether you knew or not,
    I know where your gift came from.
    I see the results,
    and I worship the Giver.

  42. Paul W.Hankins

    Hello, all:

    I thought it would be neat to divide the month in half and write my response to the November 11 prompt. So here is "November II (which kind of looks like an eleven)." Aren’t words and numbers facinating??

    In WORD, I actually have these two poems facing each other in columns. The format here seemingly would not allow for this.

    Paul W. Hankins

    "November II"

    This is our November:
    the end of every year,
    the hope of January promises,
    to be born of the cold;
    snow flies like wishes blown

    and everything is speckled white,
    the highest point of the house
    holds snow in its eaves;
    the passerby wonders
    if there is enough insulation
    remembering their own roofs
    baring themselves against the elements
    that come of December skies.

    Now we stay home—
    farenheight means frost
    we can expect in the morning:

    we would have seen the cold—
    the whole of the experience—
    had we looked in the glass house

    its walls too clear
    to conceal her secret longings:
    the call of the cradle,
    glazed with guilt;
    no milk to offer
    the supplicant mouths.

  43. Peggy Goetz

    I wrote in response to my yesterday’s poem that I thought on reflection sounded kind of uncaring. I realize I could have responded from someone else’s point of view but did it from my own instead.


    Where should I start
    there are so many things
    to sweep clear, bring
    out to air, let fly
    in the world, to free
    my muck-mired soul
    to soar among
    the butt naked
    who hide nothing
    and seem like fools.
    No, I’ll keep my
    shirt on, thank you,
    and my pants. I’d
    be lying if I said
    you were all
    beautiful naked.

    Nov. 21, 2008


    OK. I didn’t intend
    to sound like I don’t
    care. I treasure
    the confidences
    shared by friends
    by people close to me,
    I welcome what ever
    you want to have me
    know, the chance to
    help you carry the things
    that weigh in your heart
    in your past. Even
    strangers, I find
    your revelations
    interesting, lessons
    on human nature.
    I don’t really mind
    that you’re running
    around in naked truth,
    even if you seem
    and exibitionist. What
    I meant was I don’t
    want to join you.

    Nov. 22, 2008

  44. Rachel

    Yesterday’s Poem:

    Wretched Sheep

    I’m a wretch
    riddled with sin
    spilling over from within

    and I am hollow
    emptied of me
    devoid of hope, unable to breathe

    I’m a liar
    desperate for love
    though I’m showered from above

    and I’m a sheep
    in love with a Shepherd
    while dancing with a leopard

    and I feel death
    envelope me
    when I forget that I am free

    Today’s Poem:
    Precious Wretch

    Precious wretch
    riddled with sin
    My Holy Spirit safe within

    You are hollow
    emptied of you
    I fill you up and make you new

    You’re a liar
    desperate for love
    I shower you from up above

    and You’re My sheep
    in love with your Shepherd
    I’ve conquered the adultrous leopard

    and I give LIFE
    envelope you
    and do the things you cannot do

  45. Rachel Green

    Needful Necromancy

    Sheltered by ancient potting shed I stand
    my hands are cold and toes in heeled shoe
    I see you looking at me, dearest child,
    for through the window I see lurking, you.

    Stay not your hand with wicked carving knife
    for nothing here on earth could change this view:
    No snik-a-snaking blade will save your life
    for through the window I see lurking, you.

    I am a product of that which you fear
    for through the window I see lurking, you;
    and though I died upon the ground right here,
    my beloved child has need of me anew.

  46. Victoria Hendricks

    Anybody who is following my poems, I will be travelling from toorrow through Wednesday and Internet will be spotty. I hope to get a few in, but if not I’ll start catching up WEdnesday night.

    I really like the response challenge Robert – a super idea that makes me work. I’m responding to the love poem I wrote to my first husband, who died twenty years ago. First my love poem, then the response from his point of view.

    Loved Open

    I never learned her name nor she mine,
    but her husband died four hours before you.
    Almost widows, we traded shampoo for lotion
    and walked hospital hall at 2 AM seeking sugar.
    I only saw her husband unconscious, moaning.
    She never saw you at all. But she knew I loved you
    like she loved him, wide open and from college on.
    We talked about funerals, grieving kids, insurance.
    Talked about cancer, fear, your clothes. Never cried.
    The last night at vending machine, cold Coke in hand,
    she caught a deep breath, met my eyes, declared truth.
    The real question is. In time, will we do this again?
    We both answered with laughter, loudly Yes, yes we will
    if we have the chance. Because love is worth losing.
    It’s worth it all, even worth this part. Then we cried.
    I married happily three years later. I bet she did too.

    Victoria Hendricks – November 17, 2008

    Thank You

    You sobbed against my chest. "I can’t live without you."
    I knew you had to. I had to help you. Last chance for love.
    I assured, you would do a damn good job of living without me.
    I told you I hoped marriage with me had been so very wonderful
    you would choose to love, life, hope, laugh, marry again.
    I never let you know I regretted the years I wouldn’t have,
    never moaned I wouldn’t dance at daughters’ weddings, rock
    grandbabies who looked like me. You accepted my last gifts.
    You told me yes you would raise the girls as we had begun,
    in hope, awe, adventure, curiosity, dreams, openness of heart.
    You would live, not die. You told me I could stop fighting
    my failing body, accepted challenge, released me with love.
    Thank you. We kept our vows, loved til death did us part.

  47. Iain D. Kemp

    Yesterday I received a note from that numbskull Moosehead, this is my reply…

    Dear Moosehead,

    Of all the dumb-assed, lame brained
    useless idiots I have known in my live, you
    really take the biscuit! What would possess you
    to make a suggestion like that to your sister?
    You know how she is with money. What’s hers
    is hers and what’s mine is hers too! I can see the
    up-side. Getting those broads outta town for a few
    days will bring some sorely needed peace to my
    life. I just don’t know why I have to pay for it.
    Which is why I have decided to stick it to you for
    half the cost. It’s your fault and they’re your family.
    You may think this is harsh but on the other hand
    I am not actually going to kill you, so it’s really a
    win-win situation. Or at least a not-lose-so-much
    Anyway, I’ll pickya up at seven, prepare to be bruised.

    Yours in desperate disbelief

    Ringo the Howler

  48. Margaret Fieland

    This is a response to my poem from yesterday, which I posted this morning.

    Bystander’s Blues

    I was walking down the alley
    thinking of a cup of joe
    when I saw this kid take out a jimmy,
    open up the car and go.

    He’s the grandson of my neighbor,
    he’s a loser through and through.
    Drinks and drugs, steals from his Grandma
    and there’s nothing she can do.

    He is always into trouble.
    Look around, he’s in a fight.
    It don’t matter what you tell him.
    That darn kid just ain’t too bright.

    Pretty soon cops call his Grandma,
    caught him fighting, took him in.
    Now he’s right back in the slammer,
    headed for a life of sin.

  49. Iain D. Kemp

    This is in response to Day 3 and its longer version on Day 20 Farewell Dear Friend

    Cats, Poetry & Death #25

    The Newcomer

    A tiny bundle of fur
    Reeks havoc on the house
    Chasing a rattling toy
    Fighting a plastic mouse

    Cushions and curtains
    Victims in his wake
    And now a broken vase
    Oh! For pity’s sake

    A game of sock football
    Adds vigour to the melee
    As the kitten scores a goal
    Like a tiny furry Pele

    Old Puss is awoken
    From his fireside slumber
    As Kitty runs amok
    Amongst the fireside lumber

    No work is done
    No fine words written
    For the newcomer
    Is with the laptop smitten

    He thinks it makes
    A splendid bed
    Staying close to me
    To rest his head

    It isn’t all that bad
    Fifteen minutes of riot
    Followed blissfully by
    An hour of peace and quiet

    So once again we are three
    The status quo returns
    The Poet, Puss and Kitty
    (Who’ll be better when he learns).


  50. Earl Parsons

    My SS offering is a response to Day 20:

    Brainy Dialogue

    Why can’t I rely on you
    For all the answers I need
    I’ve never asked for the meaning of life

    For crying out loud
    Why didn’t you give me the answer
    To that 50 point math question

    Why did you let me say something stupid
    That got me in trouble with my parents

    If I would have written that procedure
    I might still have that cushy job
    You knew what to write
    But you kept it to yourself

    And that crack about the wrong street
    I like getting lost once in a while
    It gives me an opportunity
    To be a hero to my wife

    Speaking of my wife
    She bought me a daily pill holder
    So I don’t forget my heart meds
    So I don’t need you for that anymore

    And finally
    About neglecting God
    I do need your help with that
    So if you want to turn that synapse on
    And leave it on
    I’d really appreciate it

    Sorry about getting all
    Up in your cranium
    You were just telling me
    The truth

    So keep doing what you were
    Created to do
    I don’t mind

  51. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    PROFOUND (Day 11)
    MEANINGS (Day 22)





    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  52. Earl Parsons

    My response poem for LL&L is from Day 3:

    I’m Waiting Response

    America, I’m waiting
    But as I wait, I like not what I hear
    For I no longer hear your children
    Use My name but in vain
    They fear Me not
    They love Me not
    They know Me not
    My children are falling away

    — But, Lord
    — So many of us still love You
    — We cringe when we hear
    — You Son’s name taken in vain
    — We still love You
    — We still fear You
    — We want to know You more
    — Hold us close, Dear Lord

    America, I’m waiting
    But as I wait, I like not what I see
    For I no longer see My people
    Living according to My Word
    You fear Me not
    You love Me not
    You know Me not
    My people are falling away

    — Please, Lord
    — Give us the strength
    — The desire
    — The determination
    — To do our part
    — And show others
    — How to live for You
    — Don’t give up on us, Lord

    America, I’m waiting
    But as I wait, I like not what you do
    That which is bad, you call good
    That which is good, you call bad
    I am not your Lord
    I am not your King
    I am not your Savior
    You are pushing Me away

    — Father, God
    — We are no longer united
    — We have been weakened
    — We have been split apart
    — We have been confused
    — Still, You are Lord
    — You are King
    — You are our Savior
    — Pull us back to You

    America, I’m waiting
    But as I wait, I can’t believe My eyes
    Satan is taking you, one by one
    Pulling you down into the pits of hell
    Satan’s now your lord
    You worship him as king
    Because you know Me not
    I’m still here, just open your hearts

    — Forgive us, Lord
    — Your children have let You down
    — We’ve let the non-believers take over
    — And now they rule the airwaves
    — They control the government
    — They worship themselves
    — Or their man-made gods
    — We’ve lost our voice
    — Your faithful children
    — Know You are waiting
    — And we beg You, Lord
    — For mercy on our souls
    — And forgiveness for those
    — That persecute us
    — And You

    America, I’m waiting
    For you to come back to Me

    — Lord, God Almighty
    — Give us one more chance
    — And if we fail
    — Come and take us home
    — Amen

  53. Taylor Graham

    This is a response to Day 3 ("Living Here") and Day 20 ("Possession").


    The gopher was here before you,
    and the mouse, to feed the owl you hear
    sometimes before dawn,
    and the fox who dens inside your gate.
    Long before you came, the rattlesnake
    was hiding under rocks, and still the hawk
    will rake his length of spine and take
    him to feed in pieces to her chicks.
    Come spring, you’ll find blue feathers
    scattered on the grass – songbirds
    whose song couldn’t save them.
    The skunk still makes
    her home in that unkempt corner
    too rough for mowing. Her perfume
    reeks your dogs when they run
    the dark under a skunk-
    stripe moon.

    Forget the traps and poisons.
    Nature has her own way
    of keeping house.

  54. Connie

    From prompt five “Setting the scene”


    After the domino event,
    unlike the other children,
    she does not help sort the pieces;
    instead she picks the colors she likes:
    pink, yellow, purple, green,
    sets them carefully, vertically on edge
    spacing them slightly apart.
    She tips them over. It works.
    She tries again. This time longer.
    The man is standing over her now.
    She’s afraid that he’ll scold her for
    not putting the toys away.
    He stoops down across from her and
    places two dominos side by side
    at the end of her line.
    The next two he spaces farther apart,
    and then the next two, even farther,
    making her line branch off into two.
    He works on one line, she the other.
    He smiles. She’s hooked.
    She knows what she wants for Christmas.

  55. Michelle H.

    “The Insignificant” – the refrain from Day 3

    I am lost and
    So very insignificant;
    Can you tell me who I am?
    Shh, do you hear it?

    “The Insignificant” – the long poem from Day 20

    Shh, do you hear it?
    I am lost in a swirl of brethren
    Dancing through the night
    With my brothers and sisters
    No two of us alike

    Shh, do you hear it?
    I feel so very insignificant
    Up here with all of them
    Swirling and twirling a merry dance
    In a dress with a lace trim

    Shh, do you hear it?
    Can you tell me who I am?
    I’m not like any other, so
    Unique am I and yet when
    The dance is over I look just like the rest

    Shh, do you hear it?
    A snowflake has settled on the ground.

    “Insignificant – Part 3”
    Landing upon the lace covered hills
    No longer alone
    No longer insignificant

    I feel so very insignificant
    Here in the freshly fallen snow
    So quiet you can almost hear each tiny
    Snowflake land upon the ground

    Standing here all alone
    You wonder who you are
    Where you’ve come from
    And all that you have done

    Just as a snowflake falls and joins
    The millions, so are we not
    Alone as the people come out
    To enjoy the freshly fallen snow

    We join our fellows
    In making snowmen
    And snowballs and realize
    That we are not alone

  56. LKHarris-Kolp

    This poem is tied to both Day 7- "A Bowl of Hopes and Dreams" and Day 21’s acrostic- "Confessions"

    Her Innermost Secret

    She learned early on how to
    stuff her feelings- with food,
    as she ate and ate.
    No yelling from parents or
    rejection from men
    could not her appetite sate.

    A secret that started out
    small and rare
    grew and grew as the years went on,
    but she kept it hidden from
    the people she loved,
    who thought on the outside
    she was healthy and strong.

    So in college her days revolved
    not around studying as they should have been,
    but rather on where and when
    she would have her next binge,
    and eat away all her feelings within.

    Then after she ate until her stomach was full,
    she purged all the contents away,
    cleansing her body of every last bit,
    and she did that everyday.

    Laurie K.

  57. Don Swearingen

    It’s warmer today. The sun has come out
    And there is a stiffening breeze
    That’s cold and only the stout
    Will move in it at ease.
    I, on the other hand
    Am cold all the time.
    I sit in a corner out of the wind and
    Try to soak up some warmth, but I’m
    Never warm in these days,
    Feeling cold in the day or the night,
    Outside or inside, clear day or haze.
    From the sun there is no delight.
    I’m cold, from a glittering crusty hoar
    Down to my dry, withered rattling core.