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2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5

For people new to these challenges, I like to do “Two for Tuesday” prompts on Tuesdays. In that way, I get to pretend like I’m a DJ on a radio station. Here are the two prompts today:

  1. Write a concealed poem. Could be about a concealed weapon, concealing emotions, concealing intentions, etc. Cover it up and write about it.
  2. Write an unconcealed poem. Okay, take everything from the first prompt and uncover it. Reveal everything that’s hidden.

Here’s my attempt at a Concealed and/or Unconcealed Poem:


What’s the difference in a concealed gun
and concealed box cutter? Sometimes, intent
trumps technology, though Cash said it best,

“Don’t take your guns to town,” not because
they’re evil, but because they’re easy. My
coach used to stress running against traffic,

not because we wouldn’t get hit by cars
during long runs. Rather, he wanted them
(the drivers) to see our faces after,

to suffer through our identities
that would no longer be content, concealed.
Maybe a box cutter or hammer could

work just as well as automatic
guns, but doesn’t one require more effort? Should
death be as easy as moving fingers?

After he killed his teacher and dumped
her body (not even concealed), he caught
a movie. Did he ever see her face?


Workshop your poetry. Click here to learn how.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and completely at a loss when it comes to making the world a safer place. He can see both sides of the argument when it comes to gun control and doesn’t know which side (if any) is correct. In his collection Solving the World’s Problems, he focuses on things within his control, such as love, forgiveness, and faith. It might be cheesy, but that’s how he copes with the crazy. That, and he’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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299 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5

  1. deringer1


    I promised myself to never let you know.
    You seemed distant,
    though here with me.

    I thought you should make the first move.
    I was afraid–
    afraid of your rejection.

    But then my heart slithered out of my mouth
    and parked itself on my sleeve. I let you see
    those feelings unspoken for so long.

    The hurt is always with me
    but you will never know
    because you didn’t understand then
    and you never could.

  2. bjholmes


    I keep them to myself
    for no one else to know
    my secret thoughts within me
    I fear that they may show.

    For deep within my heart
    protected by a key
    are the whispers and the lies
    that I believe are me.

    Self doubt is always pushing
    to break open the lock
    and spill it’s truths before me
    I can only watch in shock.

    So I guard this secret place
    not wanting anyone to see
    the incompetent failure
    that I believe is me.


    It took months of reassurance
    by this man I barely knew
    who took my scared and awkward shyness
    and encouraged me to push through.
    Convincing me to trust
    and to believe with all I am
    my heart began to soften
    my lock to unjam.
    Slowly I uncovered
    and revealed the secrets from within
    believing and trusting
    with confidence again.

  3. Yolee

    When Glory Calls

    There have been a few precious times
    when I heard with the ears
    of my heart a rustling sound
    from faraway. I stopped
    what I was doing; somehow
    that sound was alerting me
    of a concealed treasure
    that unlocks with the keys
    in my hand.

    Inspired by Proverbs 25:2

  4. Rosemarie Keenan


    Gray autumn morning
    Back of your coat in the fog
    Cold rain on my face


    First train this morning
    My husband boards without me
    Tears hitting pavement

  5. foodpoet

    The Arakesh Scrolls


    Scribe to Brother

    What is hidden in words, lines, deeds.
    We keep truths buried in scrolls of thanks,
    Lies in scrolls of praise.
    It is peaceful in a lull of winds,
    No storms from palace and guards.
    I still miss my steel lady.
    I pause pen over scroll
    And know
    In truth, honor, pride
    This scroll cannot be sent.

  6. DWong


    Every day
    I go to work
    happy go lucky
    entertainingly crazed

    Every day
    I hear them say
    I am
    on something called life
    enjoyably crazed

    Every night
    I cry to sleep
    by life
    worries for children
    frozen by future past

    Every night
    I cry in dreams
    memories distant
    promise to murder me

  7. Amanda Oaks


    You remember how your name
    felt in my mouth. How it crawled
    into my veins & spun around
    in the tide of my blood.
    You remember the burn,
    the boil, the bite. You remember
    the way my heart saved it
    from drowning, how it lassoed it
    into itself. You remember
    how it never really felt honest,
    the way we stood, two I’s,
    two towers of a bridge,
    suspension cables pulled tightly—
    how the deck between us
    was never compromised
    by the weight of what we thought
    we felt or by the tokens you paid
    to cross into me. We were two I’s,
    two towers of a bridge,
    that never could bend long enough
    to form the “e” in we— but I,
    I remember the war, when it
    started on TV, the pulled shades,
    the green glow, Sunday afternoon,
    how it was 6,830 miles away
    but our empathy knew no bounds,
    how all we could do is make love
    on the floor, flaming—
    to forget.

    Amanda Oaks

  8. Earl Parsons

    Inspired by Poetic Bloomings challenge of a Mirror Sestet:

    Inside We Hide

    Inside we hide what we denied
    Denied for shame we hide inside
    They lie concealed more every day
    Day-by-day more hidden as they
    Grow shamefully and cause us woe
    Woe to us if we let it grow

  9. MichelleMcEwen


    I don’t know who
    she thought she was

    fooling— checking
    the Caucasian box

    every time

    like her granddaddy
    wasn’t black

    like he wasn’t
    in photographs back

    at the house

    like her sway-and-sashay
    didn’t give her away.

  10. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The Critter in My Wall

    Behind the wall,
    inside the wall,
    I hear you scrabble and slide.

    I hear you pause
    then scrape your claws
    on the plaster from inside.

    At times you rest.
    I like that best.
    I can forget you’re here.

    But then you wake,
    you thump and creak.
    You’re loud, and much too near.

    You’re not a rat.
    Too slow for that,
    and you don’t squeak or gnaw.

    A possum? Not.
    They stir at night
    and sleep by day. Therefore,

    Intruder, Sir,
    I think you are
    a lizard of some kind.

    Now that we’ve got
    this far with it,
    it reassures my mind.

    Electric wires
    will not start fires
    because you will not chew ‘em.

    You will not die
    and stink, so I
    don’t care what else you’re doing.

    You come and go.
    It’s clear you know
    the ways both out and in.

    I have no say —
    but you can stay
    in your space, me in mine.

    We’re off the street,
    we’re safe from heat
    or rain or hail or blizzard.

    And after all
    not every wall
    contains a resident lizard.

    Surprise Visitor

    I was sitting in my garden,
    resting with closed eyes,
    when from across the courtyard
    I heard a sudden noise.

    From in the biggest plant pot,
    which supposedly was empty,
    there came a scrabbling sound,
    sharp and indeed peremptory.

    A prehistoric beast
    raised its monstrous head,
    turned and gazed at me
    as if to strike me dead.

    I wanted just one photo.
    I ran to fetch my phone.
    But he was quick and stealthy.
    I returned to find him gone.

    I never thought to see
    a splendid water dragon —
    one of the lizard sort —
    in my suburban garden.

    His brown and bony head,
    his fixed and knowing gaze,
    his knobbed and spiky body
    continue to amaze.

    I’ve never seen him since
    (or her — it might be her)
    but noises in my wall
    perhaps … I’m almost sure.

  11. rdpater

    Hot sauce

    You never knew how much
    you quivered
    at the dinner table.

    Our eyes would catch
    and your lip would quiver
    just above the surface
    of your face.

    It makes me crazy
    when you watch
    me with my wooden
    spoon and see how much
    I drip between the stove.


    as long as you
    leave long enough
    to let the sauce
    I need and crave
    drip between the
    cracks of our meal.

  12. Benjamin Thomas

    Gun Control

    Our thoughts
    Are loaded
    Like a concealed

    Ready to be discharged
    On the first person
    With a difference
    Of opinion

    Our mouths open fire
    With offense and Ill-feeling
    Barreling out of the chamber
    Of our hearts rapid fire

    The firearm is our own tongue
    With infinite rounds
    Of ammunition at hand
    But it only does the most damage
    When the safety is released

  13. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 5
    Prompt: 1. Write a “concealed” poem.
    2. Write an “unconcealed” poem.

    Hidden Identity

    She called me crying.
    In her college speech class,
    one speech was about finding the speaker’s
    birthmother. Yet our daughter didn’t wish
    to know who hers is. Instead, she insisted,
    “You and Dad are my parents. Am I wrong,
    feeling this way?”

    I encouraged her to reach out to others, like her,
    adopted. No way for me to empathize,
    yet I’ve always told her and her brother,
    “If you want to seek your birthparents,
    we’ll help you.’

    A friend talked her through, helping her to see,
    it was her choice, just as her birthmother had chosen.
    If she didn’t want to know, she didn’t have to. The crisis
    subsided. and the next time we talked seriously about adoption
    was when she told her dad and me she wanted to keep her baby.

  14. julie e.


    In big bold black Sharpie
    she wrote on the wall
    in large loopy cursive
    her fears
    in hopes that somebody
    might read her words when
    she’d finally dis
    She gazed out the window
    at landscape beyond
    pondering where she
    might go
    while dreaming of hope
    and hoping for dreams
    in any place she
    didn’t know
    But the dread raised its voice
    and the worry its tears
    as she nervously paced
    in the hall
    and before eyes could read
    her defining words
    painted over and papered
    the wall.

  15. seingraham


    From her perch on the bough
    of the near leafless aspen
    closest to the courthouse
    She watches as the crowd
    gathers, wonders at the size
    Wonders too at her ability
    to see things so clearly now

    Maybe being an angel gives
    her mind powers that being
    A person denied her…
    Oh, oh, oh — here they come
    Her sister and her brother-in-law
    Don’t they look fine, she thinks

    Not a bit like the people
    Who kept her locked in the bus
    And, and…As if he can feel
    her eyes on him, her brother-in-law
    looks over his shoulder
    his brow wrinkles, his lips part

    She hugs herself tighter
    Remembers how he looked
    When he beat her with the stick
    How he sounded as he laughed
    He sounded like something she couldn’t
    Describe; she was freezing in the bus
    and he was hitting her and laughing

    Her sister was there too, laughing
    In fact, that was the last thing
    she remembered, her sister’s laughing
    face, hanging over her as everything
    started to go dark, and she finally
    couldn’t hear them any-more…

    She didn’t hurt, she wasn’t hungry
    Suddenly she was warm and in light
    Bright, wonderful light…and she could
    Think…she had never been able
    To think, not once in her whole life
    Did this mean she wasn’t a “retard”
    any-more? That word faded away

    Now, it seems all she has to do
    is think something…like does she
    want to go inside the courthouse?
    Yes…and there she is…in the balcony
    watching the proceedings…and if she
    wants to leave, she can
    think about that and she will
    be gone…she knows she can
    probably think to punish her sister
    and her brother-in-law, but
    for the first time ever, she has
    so much control over herself
    she wants to savor the not doing
    of things as much as the doing

    Listening to the judge’s robes
    swish him onto the bench
    makes her aware of the start
    of the case; she leans forward
    to listen
    Her sister is trembling so much
    she can see her hair moving
    She must be so scared, she thinks
    She knows, it serves her right
    But she also knows how hard
    They’d tried to get help for her
    And all the agencies had turned
    them down flat…

    After years of her being in a home
    Suddenly, all the homes were shut
    and everyone like her was turned out
    and given to family to care for
    She understood now how unfair
    that must have been
    Oh, there was no way anyone
    could be excused for abusing anyone
    And there was no doubt
    Both her sister and brother-in-law
    went beyond neglect
    And hurt her on purpose

    But now, with her clarity of mind
    and vision
    She can see how this had happened
    What does she want to happen to them;
    what does she think is right
    She is glad she isn’t the judge

  16. Missy McEwen

    Two Women

    My name is Rosalee White. I am Black
    and I am skrong. I was born in the south–home
    of the skrong Black woman. We soldier
    on and don’t let on that something’s wrong
    even when everything is wrong. We work all day
    cooking, cleaning, sewing, doing everything
    we can for everybody and we never get tired. But I am tired.
    I am so tired of hiding behind this myth–that I am
    not fragile, when inside I am about to break, fall
    to pieces. Sometimes when I am by myself
    I lie down on this bed and cry, and cry, and cry.

    My name is Rashida Tene said like Tuh-NAY. I am young
    and I am Black, daughter of Rosalee White. I was born
    and raised in Hartford on the north end where every day it seem
    like someone I know is gettin shot. Soon there won’t
    be no men left, but I don’t need no man. I can
    take care of myself. Besides these men be cheatin on women
    left and right, but no man can play Tene unh unh. Do
    unto the nigga before the nigga do it unto you. That’s what
    I say–in the words of Wilona from Good Times. But sometimes
    I want a little bit of lovin. I want a man to kiss and to hug
    up on. I want a man of my very own, one that knows all
    sides of me, not just the side that’s shown.

    1. Missy McEwen

      Two Women

      My name is Rosalee White. I am Black
      and I am skrong. I was born in the south–home
      of the skrong Black woman. We soldier
      on and don’t let on that something’s wrong
      even when everything is wrong. We work all day
      cooking, cleaning, sewing, doing everything
      we can for everybody and we never get tired. But I am tired.
      I am so tired of hiding behind this myth–that I am
      not fragile, when inside I am about to break, fall
      to pieces. Sometimes when I am by myself
      I lie down on this bed and cry, and cry, and cry.

      My name is Rashida Tene said like Tuh-NAY. I am young
      and I am Black, daughter of Rosalee White. I was born
      and raised in Hartford on the north end where every day it seem
      like someone I know is gettin shot. Soon there won’t
      be no men left, but I don’t need no man. I can
      take care of myself. Besides these men be cheatin on women
      left and right, but no man can play Tene unh unh. Do
      unto the nigga before the nigga do it unto you. That’s what
      I say–in the words of Wilona from Good Times. But sometimes
      I want a little bit of lovin. I want a man to kiss and to hug
      up on. I want a man of my very own, one that knows all
      sides of me, not just the side that’s shown.

      Sent from my iPhone

  17. shanezie

    Friend Thanksgiving

    Billy smiles, laughs, shakes hands, and jokes.
    Always the life of the party
    so the invitation stays open.

    His rum-pa-tum knock on the door
    brings cheers and a new round of drinks;
    everyone’s happy to see him.

    Billy brings sweet potato pie
    and whipped cream he just made; hungry
    mouths gather round and line up for

    a piece. Billy never gets one –
    gone too quick – but he basks in thanks
    nonetheless. Mulled wine wits, laughing

    fits, and chats about old times die
    down, couples leave arm-in-arm and
    hug him like a second host. He

    lingers till he’s sober, helps clean,
    and gathers his things. One quick bow
    and he heads home to be alone.

    Also published on: http://sillionwind.wordpress.com/
    I’m finally caught up!

  18. mjdills

    I have chosen as the subjects of my poems two subjects fraught with revelation and the lack thereof:

    Death and Poker

    My mother died in the middle of quick.
    Not sudden;
    nor slow and agonizing.
    She took her news and made her plans.
    As day turned into another day,
    she died as she lived,
    crossing things off her meticulous list.
    When ready, she closed her eyes
    And waved goodbye.
    Not a crashing, shocking end,
    Or the agonizing, drawn out, emaciating finish
    But in the middle of quick;
    a good leaving.

    I know my hand. I glance at it from time to time
    and make a habit
    of keeping my eyes on the
    I’ve played what’s been dealt and at times
    pulled to an inside
    straight, against the judgment
    on my shoulder.

    When chips were
    I’ve called a bluff and
    once or twice, tapped out. It is
    not in my nature
    to fold
    but I learned from the
    when odds are against me, to not raise my

  19. jenreyneri

    Busy Season.
    Also published here http://wordtraveling.com/2013/11/06/busy-season/

    Oh, how this season has me deep in its
    Vibrant, vigorous grasp of task and toil
    Ever so summoned, engrossed, absorbed-
    Reaching my depths and
    With a stretch – push, pull, shout…
    Heaving heaven out
    Encouragement’s encountered
    Looking up, rays come down- stones are paved on a yellow brick road
    Marked with footprints of whispers that feel like my own. This path is better not walked alone.

  20. Cin5456

    Illusions Shattered

    After we broke up I found out. Why
    would you manipulate me that way?
    I went back to our house
    while you were away, to
    move my things without a fuss.
    I tried your desk drawer looking
    for a pen. Imagine my surprise
    when I found my old driver’s license
    in plain sight. Not once in
    four years did I open that drawer,
    but the day I could not cash
    my paycheck I called home.
    You said you did not see my ID.
    For eight weeks, I had to sign
    my paychecks over to you.
    You withheld my earnings,
    and each time I needed money,
    you wanted to know what for.
    You gave me only what I needed,
    and refused my need more than once.
    For eight weeks, you dictated
    my every move. Now, after
    our parting, I’ve discovered
    the extent of your duplicity.
    Is there more I should know?

  21. Cin5456


    I should have known, but how would I
    discern a hidden agenda behind
    your charming smile? Your parents were
    so cool, so wary, but I expected that.
    How could I know traits you don’t show
    were inherited? Our first year should
    been a clue, but I was a naïve sixteen
    year old girl, and clueless. I didn’t know
    how to reason, or reach conclusions.
    You said it was my fault; I believed you.
    In spite of having four fathers, and
    three predatory brothers, endless betrayals,
    I held on to my illusion that men are
    basically true of heart long past
    the first betrayal. Innocence and
    lack of guile I was born with;
    suspicion, I had to learn the hard way.

  22. dandelionwine

    24-Hour Watch

    When questioned,
    he tells a story.

    Nothing he says
    makes as much sense
    as my pained memory
    of the family dog
    in the end, dragging
    herself to the base
    of the lower field,
    twisting her last
    breaths in briars.

  23. elishevasmom

    Hidden in Plain Sight
    (A View of Alzheimer’s)

    I was sitting in the living room,
    with Mother and Daddy.

    I don’t recall what started
    the conversation, but he ended

    up telling me a story related
    to a job that he had back in

    the early ’70s. I was familiar
    with all of the characters,

    but it was something I had
    never known—and it was

    interesting, and I told him so.
    I suggested that maybe if

    he were to record these stories
    as he remembered them, I

    would love to have them.
    They represented a part of

    his life of which I had not
    been a part. He said that he

    had too much trouble dealing
    with the recorder, even if it

    was the kind that responded
    automatically. And, that if

    I hadn’t been there to talk
    with, he wouldn’t have thought

    to tell it. I told him that it was
    such a shame to loose all of

    that personally history. His
    response was that for him to

    have been able to manage the
    whole process, he would have

    needed to have started five years
    ago. That’s how long ago he had

    begun to forget.

    How could something like that
    have stayed hidden for so long?

    Ellen Knight 11.5.13
    write a “conceal/reveal” for PAD 11.13

  24. cholder


    Gazing in the mirror
    Disgusted, repulsed
    Anguish in my heart
    As misery contorts my face

    Drifting through the streets
    Broken, wretched
    A frown upon my heart
    A smile upon my face

  25. bethwk

    All through the verdant season
    the nest-builders have concealed
    within the thick cover of leaves
    their great treasures, crafted
    of vines and twigs, cobwebs, grasses:
    their work of the season’s passing.

    Then, mystery and secrecy–
    the eggs, dappled and speckled,
    and suddenly, ravenous nestlings.
    But now, all is revealed. The trees
    have dropped their golden skirts
    about their ankles, and the secret is spilled.
    There, in the yellow maple,
    a random twiggy pile of mockingbird nest.
    A bedraggled clump of matted grass
    at the furthest dangling limb of the poplar
    is all that remains of oriole’s art.
    In the tree at the top of Ducktown Road,
    a gray orb, nest of a colony of paper wasps.

    “Through the empty branches the sky remains.
    It is what you have.”
    –Rainer Maria Rilke

    In the sky, those rippled clouds,
    ribs of the gods, and birds gathering,
    riding the sky-road south for winter.

  26. bjzeimer

    Unconcealed: My love for Mommy

    One night when I was asleep
    heard Mommy call my name.

    I woke and saw her sitting afar
    wearing her long white muslin gown

    A wooden cane and wedding band.

    A long woolen coat and purple knit scarf
    fade on down the front porch steps.

    I follow her as when I was a child.

  27. bjzeimer

    Concealed from Mommy

    Concealed in my sewing kit
    my red lipstick in the gold case.

    It was all a part of my growing up
    and set me aside from the farm

    animals I took care of everyday.
    I didn’t care that it was used

    by whoever owned the Green Dynamo
    she and Daddy bought from the used

    car dealer over at London.
    I just kept it hidden from Mommy

    until after she went to work
    then I was a movie star all day.

  28. Catherine Lee


    I am hidden in plain sight among plain faces

    there are not enough sharp edges
    to focus the eyes toward muddier puddles
    where the lovely lurk beneath a skin
    of pudding smiles and magic shells
    harden by room temperature and
    tepid desires that cast smoke
    into our eyes.

  29. LeAnneM

    I know the ocean is just
    On the other side of those hills
    But I can’t smell it
    It might as well be
    A thousand miles away

    Until I am close enough
    To feel the breeze
    And taste the salt,
    A clock is ticking

    My body is patient
    But unwilling to be satisfied
    By any other wonder

  30. hrtaylor008

    Cloaked in every prophet’s mantle
    breathes a promise
    ties a sandal;
    Walking shores of Galilee
    New is in the Old concealed
    Old is in the New revealed
    New is dawning;
    Apocalypse will soon be past
    and all the earth teem forth
    with vibrant life at last.

  31. De Jackson


    When we’re done here, I don’t know if you
    will know me anymore. I plan to span
    -gle these limbs in bits of broken
    sky and shell, allow this sacred swell of

    salt and sand to land them where it may.
    My fingers will trail indigo slow and
    steady over quiet skin, begin to show
    true colors once held deep. Azured,

    I’ll only keep the tiniest part of who I
    was, a beveled buzz of breeze and be
    -guiled smile. Sapphire burns and
    turns just right under shrouded sky;

    these clouds and I have nowhere else
    to be. The twilight says truth is best,
    but as I invest in hiding place and paint
    -ed face, I find myself flying, flowing, free.


    1. PressOn

      This is fascinating; the whole poem feels like one long release. Interesting, too, for me anyway, is the way the last words echo the “f” sound in the title. This poem begs for study. Wonderful work.

  32. Sara McNulty


    Black leather jacket bulges
    from inside pockets. He carries
    a battered suitcase, straps scarcely
    holding the sides together. He moves,
    quick purposeful strides. His face
    is a frozen stone, a statue
    carved with no expression, color
    of white plaster.


    He rings doorbell of a house
    on a residential street. Woman
    gazes through the peephole,
    opens the door. He removes
    all the CDs from his pockets,
    and places them and the suitcase
    down at her feet. Tears trickle
    a slow flow, down her face.
    She says, “I am sorry we could
    not work it out.”

  33. DanielAri

    11/5 concealed

    I’m eating the standard complaint I leveled
    against the early dark of Daylight Savings,
    eating it because now my mundane rambles
    have gone electric because of nothing more.
    I walk with my notebook, witness and babble

    to myself. The sounds I make go skittering
    into city canyon shadows. On Mission,
    a young couple climbs from a cab, arguing,
    “You want me just to slap on a happy smile?”
    I order a hamburger, find a table

    by the window, across from the bus station.
    It would be hard for me to guess anyone’s
    age or business, country or destination.
    I move toward the door where I vanish alone
    on those missions between going and coming.

    Thank God and government for the cover thrown
    over me, fresh by sun and refreshed by moon.


  34. De Jackson

    (an Ovillejo)

    My heart’s an aching tooth.
          The truth
    is each beat of regret
          will set
    afire this vision we can’t see:
          us, free.
    I know you care for me,
    but I must ask
    you shed your mask.
                        The truth will set us free.


  35. cbwentworth

    Buried beneath,
    broken esteem
    Cling to shadows,
    float in the dark
    Desperate shawls,
    wrap sad shoulders
    She waits inside,
    locked up captive

    The darkness ebbs,
    coaxing the locks
    Too shy to breathe,
    afraid to speak
    The soul flickers,
    fueled by fire
    Casting midnight,
    dawn’s golden spell

  36. Julieann

    Love Concealed

    I was free
    You were tied
    My love for you
    I hid, deep inside

    We worked together
    You couldn’t see
    How I longed, for
    When you’d be free

    From my dreams
    I would wake
    Your touch so real
    It wouldn’t shake

    I kept my feelings
    Hid deep inside
    They couldn’t show
    For you were tied

    Then came the day
    You said you’re free
    My love reached out, but
    To another, you did flee

  37. Lori P


    hThie rdeadl meesn sam ge e is sths is a: i gf ye ou s
    taI ke stit me u to ftrfy ae nd dse te tw he o hioddf en ythoinu gs rsos mebtiemets yw ou ecaen bn
    ut esoamectih meos tnhee re o is f jum st ysi olewncne

    hidden messages
    I stuffed two of yours between
    each one of my own

    Who are you?

  38. laurie kolp

    I’m a Wreck

    the wind spins my hair
    into a mossy mess,
    but I don’t care

    my feet are nested
    in knee high hose
    that I dug up
    from years ago,
    but I don’t care

    your skin is as cold
    as the room,
    but you say you’re hot–
    I care

  39. Mywordwall


    Everything’s tedium
    from the rising of the sun
    to its setting
    everything is the same
    as yesterday
    as though time has stood still
    or perhaps
    time is looping –
    the same song, the same refrain
    It’s maddening!
    a different tune is a welcome thing
    but tedium
    it’s all tedium
    perhaps life is but routines
    all that’s new
    is exciting
    they are swallowed by routines.
    somewhere in your folds
    must be life’s meaning.

  40. laurie kolp

    Numbered Days

    Can you see the sorrow
    behind my smile,
    or feel the ache
    from within?

    My heart’s a sponge
    soaking up tears
    too afraid to run down my face
    and show you how much
    I’ll miss you when you’re gone

    but today I remain strong
    on the outside
    for you, Mom,
    for me

    never comes.

  41. mrvanessarose


    This tango
    Takes 3
    A ghostly lineup
    Splits me in half

    I mimic her
    She mimics me
    We dance lyrical
    Circles around you

    Her light and
    My body
    Hold a secret rendezvous
    But to you,

    If for a day
    Or two,
    It’s as if
    I never existed


    You’ll catch me
    By an unsuspecting

    I’ll trickle across
    The dark sheet
    One sliver
    At a time

    Hanging daintily
    You’ll dream of me
    Until I expand
    And command your inner tide

    Your trust in me
    Will grow with each
    Phase, each revelation
    Until you can look into my eyes

    1. mrvanessarose

      The concealed poem is titled “New” while the unconcealed poem is titled “Full.” I put the titles in brackets and that did not translated well according to the comment HTML decorum :)

  42. BezBawni


    The Great and Powerful
    threw his arms apart, and his loose sleeves –
    they rained with flowers!

    He curled his fingers
    to a fist and told a child: “Believe,
    see what luck brings us!”

    The child puffed
    and there! – the hand revealed a candy cane.
    The child laughed.

    The child stared,
    eyes full of awe, clapped his palms to pain.
    The child cared

    The great magician
    (or illusionist one likes to say)
    was slick and dashing,

    in all his wonders
    was the child happy till one day
    the magic crumbled.

    It hurt to push on,
    but at least there was in that child’s world
    no more illusion.

    There were a few who
    hugged the crying child with a kind word,
    the ones who knew

    the child was me

    the man was you

  43. Jezzie

    Concealed and Revealed

    Next door’s Siamese cat
    lay silently
    under the berry bush
    watching, waiting,
    ready to pounce.
    No-one could see her
    but me.

    Our resident Blackbird,
    flew noisily
    in for his morning bath
    stopping a while
    to pluck from the bush
    a bright red berry
    to eat.

    She pounced

    He flounced,
    and very loudly
    her presence.

    She was trounced.

  44. RJ Clarken

    Sepia Tones Invisible

    to the
    of a drawer in the old dresser was a
    photograph dated nineteen twenty two.
    I found it
    by odd
    was a
    portrait of
    a couple (in sepia tones), looking
    straight at the camera, unsmiling. So,
    I wondered
    who they


  45. Jezzie

    I hid the “Dear John” note
    that years ago he wrote
    in the pocket of my coat.
    He’d treated me like dirt,
    his parting words were curt,
    well intended to hurt.
    And hurt me they sure did.
    But that letter I hid.

    My tears I couldn’t hide
    however hard I tried.
    He’d hurt my foolish pride
    when I found how he’d lied
    and had deceived his bride.
    I just sat down and cried.
    I tried for many years,
    but could not hide my tears.

  46. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Trained as a physicist,
    Determined to do useful work,
    He found he understood,
    The importance,
    Of national security!

    He took a job,
    A valued career,
    Applying physics,
    One drawback,
    To being successful there,
    He had to conceal,
    His heart!

    If he felt anything,
    It could compromise,
    His true abilities,
    Offset his achievements,
    Prevent the team from accomplishing,
    Their best efforts,
    Doing ground breaking weapons research!

    Hitting his stride at work,
    His health suffered,
    His anxiety grew,
    Imbalances became the norm,
    And finally,
    After years of service,
    He retired,

    Surrounding him was little joy
    Energy was constantly low,
    Happiness eluded him,
    Like a lofty butterfly,
    Landing in a towering tree,
    There but too high,
    To ever capture!

    Love came into his life,
    To reveal,
    Not conceal,
    His true emotions,
    To, at last, open his heart,
    After some deep resistance,
    Finally, he understood!

    He was never the job,
    He was not the weapons or research,
    He was actually quite human . . .

    Underneath it all!

  47. Broofee

    Customer service

    A smile here
    And a smile there
    Is all it takes
    To get the job right.

    But it takes its toll,
    You know
    Those words
    Left untold,
    Those feelings
    Kept inside.

    One time
    One burst
    Of the truth
    One incident

    Is all it’s going to take
    To take the burden off.

    How much longer
    Can I keep up that way?

  48. Clae

    Shelved Treasure

    Overlooked by being surrounded
    Like Waldo in a crowd
    Distinct but obscure
    Not actually hidden just waiting in place
    For an observant seeker
    To notice you between the other books
    When you are found and opened
    Secrets spill out like water
    Overflow with splendor
    Rewards for all who search and find

  49. MLundstedt


    You must have placed it there with tears,
    High up on a shelf, in a little box,
    Collecting dust for all these years . . .

    I’m sure you hid it when hope was lost,
    When the subject’s fate was sealed–
    Few ever knowing at what cost.

    A few small bends in this faded token–
    Which I imagine were from trembling hands
    Clutching it, as prayers were spoken.

    I never heard you speak of “Jack”,
    This smiling man, sitting in fatigues;
    But I can read what’s written on the back.

    He sent this photo from a war torn land,
    Briefly pausing to smile for your sake,
    Reassured that it would rest in your hand.

    His single line says “I’ll be home soon.”
    But then scrawled in your broken cursive hand:
    “Jack, my love, died on the first of June.”

      1. MLundstedt

        Thank you. For some reason this theme brought to mind my mother-in-law’s story. She lives in Sweden and when she was young, she spent a summer dating an American who was traveling. He was sent to Vietnam after that summer. She received a letter, but then never heard from him again. She assumes he died, of course, you never know.

        Years later, her son would come to the U.S. as an exchange student in the middle of no-where, pop 200, IL, and never quite return to her either . . . he stayed and married me! :)

  50. PKP

    In the staff lounge they sat
    he on one end
    she on the other
    others in the middle
    she read a book
    he stared out the window
    Break over
    all left
    but she and
    into each others
    grasping each
    other fast

  51. bartonsmock


    his earache
    the scorched
    of a scarecrow
    the man
    on one leg
    with cigarette
    in mouth
    and refuses
    to lean
    on the child
    seemingly dropped
    by god
    into this field
    to remind him
    of the lapsed
    dental work
    that gave
    to his famously
    that terrified
    which said
    I am here
    to eat
    only that
    which was cut
    from the cookie
    of hell

  52. barbara_y

    Can It Stand Alone?

    We see old photos without context, and they might
    as well be nudes against the sky.
    I’m ambivalent.

    The accent I almost trained away is stronger than at seventeen,
    and half invented. I am ambivalent.
    But that
    I do remember party lines, soaps on radio, wiping
    my ass with catalog pages, coal smoke, and the first mall.
    That I’ve seen
    Whistler’s Mother now, and the Wright plane;
    once had stoned sex
    with a clown, brie and Ritz
    for this morning’s breakfast.

    That I write
    poetry, forget my pills, love bluegrass, blues,
    and Yo Yo Ma, have pain I can’t describe, fear
    death less than embarrassment.

    Is all in the picture, too, against the sky.

  53. hohlwein

    Matinée Idol

    Everything I do, I obscure.
    You will know how much I care
    if I leave quickly, turn the corner.

    If I vanish, I vanish
    and close my eyes to keep
    the quick, stunning sight of you,
    projected, glowing, flickering,
    against the far dark wall
    of the chamber
    of my quiet
    velvet-seated heart.

  54. PKP

    on so many
    great poems
    so many vivid
    that deserve
    applause and
    gratified sighs


    my deep appreciation
    when frustration and time

  55. writinglife16

    I tried this from the unconcealed side.

    Unconcealed Truth

    Silent Witnesses.
    Eating Lunch.
    They’re the thorns in the
    And they are hidden.

  56. barbara_y


    It’s a little Brownie snapshot, three by three,
    with a date in the margin and the border
    cut like pinking sheers. The light is from behind
    the subjects, and brighter than anything.
    Do you remember the silhouette artist
    at the fair? Barns that were all barns, fish,
    kittens, trees were deciduous or cones.
    But he did Uncle Joe, and: Will you look at that!
    That’s him to a tee. The same. That shadow
    in the picture’s Daddy, puppy in his lap, and me.

  57. Susan Schoeffield


    Bright green highlights on coal black hair,
    rebellion right out of a bottle,
    defiant in choosing what clothes to wear,
    demeanor I’d just love to throttle.

    Piercings in places they ought not to be,
    a random tattoo here and there,
    nothing in common on which to agree.
    We both breathe the same frosty air.

    She fell in love with some guy called Snake
    his clothes all but falling apart.
    Without help from me, she saw her mistake
    when that snake in the grass broke her heart.

    Under white makeup and nonchalant gloom,
    the child didn’t seem that much older.
    Tears in her eyes, she ran to my room
    and rested her head on my shoulder.

    This moment in time, she wasn’t a stranger,
    a teen uncontrollably wild.
    She held onto me, seeking shelter from danger.
    She melted my heart and it smiled.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  58. Michelle Hed

    Hiding in Plain Sight

    They look like you and me –
    running errands,
    going to school,
    going to the gym….
    but they are concealing their real identities
    behind masks of normalcy.
    They are watching you, us
    making notes,
    keeping track –
    Yes, they are watching us,
    Santa’s Elves – you better be good.

  59. Michelle Hed

    An Open Book

    lay on the chair
    so patiently
    for her to come back.

    The book wanted to be held,
    by small hands
    which turned the pages slowly,
    holding the book snug
    against her warm body.

    She would point to each word
    sounding them out slowly,
    tasting them for the first time
    and then she would take a few minutes
    to savor every image.

    She made the book feel
    like a sweet treat
    and at the end
    she would give the book a hug
    and sometimes a kiss
    and whisper “you’re my favorite”
    before placing the book
    back upon the shelf.

  60. taylor graham


    In the dark, every morning’s a surprise.
    Without a light I walk familiar rooms,
    each sense alert to find what’s out of place.
    My boots, the old dog, poem in disguise.

    This clutter-park we live in, memory’s hive –
    your dad’s old trunk, my mother’s favorite chair
    sharing space with us as if still breathing
    in the dark. Every morning’s a surprise

    inside and out. The sky’s too black to know
    this Tuesday’s weather, but something’s awake –
    here’s my dog ready for a run. Let’s go
    without a light. I walk familiar rooms

    of grassy swale and oaks, and up the stairs
    of rocky creek (still dry, we pray for rain).
    A dawning breeze. Listen for coyotes,
    each sense alert to find what’s out of place

    or hidden. My dog’s on patrol, nothing
    escapes him. Woodpecker in a tree top,
    secrets and sometimes-givens of a life.
    My boots, the old dog, poem in disguise.

  61. JRSimmang


    I told her not to do it
    as she stuck her hand into it.
    Realizing that she blew it,
    she threw the box away.

    It was too late to undo it,
    nightmares spread and grew. It
    seemed the end eschewed it-
    self from the bottom of the grey.

    I was curious, she said.
    You were scurrilous, I said.

    What was hidden in the darkness
    was evil, death standing in its starkness
    contrasted against the markless
    white walls of our home.

    When the storm had lifted,
    and the peacefulness had shifted,
    we saw a light had sifted
    through the bleak shadows.

    Hope, she said, it shimmers.
    I wonder why only glimmers
    when its beauty shouldn’t be dimmer
    than the darkness it surrounds.

    A revelation, I suppose,
    as we sat there in repose,
    knowing we should close
    the lid on that there box.

    Her hand found mine instead,
    and with it all my dread
    rushed out of my old head
    and settled somewhere else.

    Hope is hope, she said. It’s
    only evil if you let it.
    Best advice: don’t fret it.
    With out the nasty we can bet it
    won’t shimmer as bright as it does.

    If we keep it hidden,
    we’re the ones to be ridden
    by worry, woe, and grief forbidden.
    So… hold it in your heart.

    -JR Simmang

    1. BezBawni

      I wanted just to read through the poems, quickly splash myself in the ocean of poetry for inspiration, but here I am, writing comments again. I just couldn’t stay away, Jourdan, because I’ve just read a very beautiful poem, and hey, it’s written by you :-)))

  62. Cameron Steele

    Life in the Digital Now
    Inspired by Abha Dawesar’s TED talk

    They tell me it’s obvious:
    Life is getting longer and
    I’ll live until I’m so old
    I can barely read my own
    name or even pray.

    But I think I lost myself years ago
    when we first learned
    to stretch the second out
    like a raw hide until it
    was too thin to wear or even see.

    They say the days are long
    and the years are short and
    the opposite is also true.
    The present, after all,
    is just the easiest way
    to mask the past.

  63. writinglife16

    This is my attempt at concealed.

    Painful Love

    Their lunch time affair.
    and public.
    Love shared in the rose arbor.
    Its thorns are hidden.

  64. uneven steven


    are for the timid
    as much for concealing
    as unconcealing
    blinds half lidded
    with just enough light
    to sneak peeks
    at the neighbors
    goings on
    Electric day straight from the socket
    warming us enough to forget
    we left our own drapes
    open and
    exposed in all our atrocious
    naked dancing living
    these blinds our lids
    those drapes and lights
    our thoughts
    concealed and unconcealing
    eyes eager windows
    to anywhere
    but here

  65. Domino


    My face always gives me away.
    When I’m sad or overjoyed.
    Feeling unwell, or particularly good that day.
    It is all written on my face.

    As much as I would like to
    hide my hurt, sometimes, it is no use.
    My lips locked, my eyes blurt my life
    all over any alert person’s consciousness.

    They say the eyes are the windows of
    the soul, and so that truth for me
    shines free from my face, and scrolls
    across my forehead like an LED message,
    a beacon for any and all to survey,
    an (un)willing witness
    to what I think and feel and see;
    all my heart’s debris.

    So, to conceal what I don’t wish to share,
    I have learned to look down, steel myself,
    so as not to bare my thoughts,
    look busy, look preoccupied,
    as long as I must wear my ordeal,
    my glance dares not meet
    any inquiring gaze. So, I smile,
    I joke; only so am I safe to pursue all my
    sweetness or sorrow

    But let that eye meet another,
    no matter the cost,
    all of my secrets are lost.

  66. PKP

    Some of them are my best friends

    Some of them are my best friends
    Though don’t look for them at my house
    But they are though – really
    Them, are good folks
    Long as they know their place
    and don’t come a knocking
    uninvited to ask my daughter
    to no dances

  67. Nancy Posey

    As usual, my train of thought was lured to the side by literature I’m teaching this (and every) semester–in this case, poor Mrs. Mallard’s well-meaning sister and nosy old Polonius:

    Lit 113 Lessons in Life and Love

    Transparency takes so much trust—
    a belief in my own way with words,
    faith that you can handle
    what I have to say. Otherwise,
    we’d write not the story of one hour
    but the story of our lives
    like the well-meaning
    who reveal by half concealing.

    You too must trust I’ll come
    to you alone for answers,
    not relying on indirections
    to find directions out. In our vows
    spoken out loud before witnesses,
    you pledged to be true to me
    and I to you, much simpler
    that that selfish endeavor
    to be true to mine own self.

  68. PKP

    The Discipline of No Birthday Cake

    He had instructed
    no birthday cake
    he was gaining
    not only a year
    but weight
    it was clear
    for six months
    he ate salads
    and salmon
    and all things
    healthy and fine
    Now don’t go, he said
    and undermine, thinking
    you are being unkind

    No Birthday Cake!
    I mean what I say
    And I say what I mean
    I am turning into an
    elephant -with whom
    you won’t want to be seen
    No Birthday Cake
    All take a vow
    Make me a birthday promise
    Make it all for me now

    And so we did promise
    No cake would be buy
    Wouldn’t hurt him this way
    He was in all ways a great guy

    The day came and
    then supper time too
    presents and songs
    we sang the night through
    eating bright fresh fruit
    no cake at all
    and then
    in a voice
    so young
    and so small
    my father, he asked
    No Birthday Cake?
    no cake at all?

    Was but sixteen with a learners permit to drive
    Ran from the house to an all night market and
    back with a cake did red-faced and panting arrive

  69. PKP

    In the sunlight

    In the filigreed sunlight
    from dark loam, rich and deep
    springs a single white wild rose

    Under joyous panting
    wiggling rear
    bannered tail waving
    paws digging joyously

    In the filigreed sunslight
    Shines a small white arm

  70. Jane Shlensky

    Visions and Revisions

    He was the sort of boy who took his toys
    apart to see where lay zip, flash, and beep.
    The grown-ups watched him, naming futures like
    sweet incantations, promises of joys—
    mechanic, surgeon, genius, engineer—
    for something new with each day he revealed.

    And they were proud that at his age he showed
    such curiosity, inventiveness,
    until he calmly took the dog apart
    looking in vain to find its battery.

  71. Jane Shlensky


    Some people hold their cards close to their chests
    and keep their eyes inscrutable or blank.
    Their smiles may not be happiness confessed,
    their faces like still ponds where secrets sank.

    You cannot say for sure when they feel joy,
    for they’re not talkers, saying all they feel,
    but they’re not like some, trying to play coy
    in some flirtatious game that is not real.

    She said these things for years, all others blocked,
    for him alone, solemn and taciturn.
    She was Pandora; he was closed and locked,
    but sometimes when they spoke, her cheeks would burn.

    Some people wait until they understand.
    He touched her hair and smiled and played his hand.

  72. elishevasmom


    She doesn’t own any
    make up. She has always
    thought that it would
    be wasted on her anyway.
    Besides, you can’t
    patch holes in self esteem
    with lipstick.

    But, she does use
    concealer—not as
    make up, but as
    something to put
    on while dressing—
    clothing for her face.

    Concealer doesn’t
    always work at covering
    all the bruises, which is
    why God made sunglasses.
    She uses them to hide
    her shame.

    She knows that if people
    ask, and she tells them
    she walked into a door,
    they don’t believe her—she
    knows they think she’s stupid.

    Anyone can see the
    transparent truth that if
    she was a better wife,
    better mother, better
    housekeeper, he wouldn’t so get
    so angry and lose control.

    Does she think he enjoys
    hitting her? What kind
    of monster does that
    make him?
    No it is clear.
    She carries the proof
    of her inadequacies
    for all to see.

    Which is why she has
    become so adept at
    using concealer. If
    only she could get so
    good at pleasing him,
    maybe she wouldn’t need any.

    Ellen Knight 11.5.13
    write a “conceal/reveal” poem for PAD 11.13

  73. Misky

    Hidden Behind Storm Soaked Clouds

    Clouds of breadth, depth of trace,
    slim and skimming, milken lunar face.
    That familiar nose, so Roman straight,
    those smiling eyes that never close.
    Appear to me, Man in the Moon —
    your face concealed
    in sheets of wind
    and storm soaked clouds.

  74. Amy

    Sunday Morning

    I caught a glimpse of your love today,
    concealed in your stoic presence.

    It wasn’t the love that twirls children
    like helicopters, whirling from tall maples,

    or the love that bears shrieking when
    the home team loses the puck;

    it was the warm squeeze of your fingertips
    as you blanketed my frozen toes

    on your way to the kitchen, reminding me
    the lighthouse still glimmers over hazy waters.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      There’s such a gentleness in this poem, the distinctions of many flavors of love, all bound up in a great title that in itself conjures warm memories for me. Love this, Amy.

  75. Dare

    Almost Naked

    (Women are the worst)
    Sound like barking dogs

    She waits
    There’s always one
    Eager to buy hot fantasies
    With cold cash

    Naked thighs
    Cropped top
    She bares all
    Except what matters

  76. PatNEO


    You can’t see my poem because I have concealed it.
    But, trust me, it’s a good poem. I’m pretty sure.
    Trust me.
    Trust me, because I can’t trust you enough
    to show it to you. But it’s a good poem.

    “You can’t feel my love because I haven’t shown it.
    But, trust me, it’s a good love, I’m pretty sure.
    Trust me.
    Trust me because I can’t trust you enough
    to give it to you. But it’s a good love.
    I’m pretty sure.” he said, in so many unworded ways.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      The repetition of “trust me” causes a person not to trust. The title is perfect on this poem. So much is revealed in expecting what one is not willing to give. Nice work.

  77. Linda Goin


    An expanse of liquid
    like amniotic fluid
    floats around my mother and me
    and affects the actions we take
    so our pointed fingers
    and jabs to the gut
    are modified, softened, unborn.

    Protection like this is precious
    for adults who normally
    cannot breathe in fluid
    pregnant with such
    piss and vinegar.

    We swim to conceal her
    private face
    the visage painted
    with fears and losses
    that only I see
    and cannot share.

    She is so strong
    she screams
    she shakes the waters
    with expressions that echo
    within this channel
    with no inlet
    no outlet.

    When I want to escape
    she wraps her arms
    across my arms
    wraps her legs
    around my legs
    stuffs her hair
    in my mouth
    so I’m submerged
    and invisible.

  78. Connie Peters

    God Revealed

    Bigfoot, aliens, ghosts.
    I must admit they give me shivers.
    I do believe in the super natural.
    After all,
    God supernaturally impregnated a virgin,
    expressing Himself, His love,
    to all mankind in the form of Jesus.
    I don’t know
    if Bigfoot lives in Ketchikan,
    if aliens visited Roswell,
    or if ghosts haunt European castles.
    But I do know
    God is real.

  79. annell

    It is morning
    Yet… the sun
    Is still having
    His siesta
    Behind Taos Mountain
    All the pleasures
    Of surveying this world
    Lie waiting
    For him to wake
    Have his coffee
    Begin the day

    As he rises
    Nothing will
    Be concealed
    By darkness
    Light will flood
    Into every corner
    Will be put
    In the barn

  80. Walt Wojtanik


    His glasses were round
    and he fostered a profound way
    of seeing the world as it should be.
    It was he who gave passivity
    a fighting chance. At every glance
    he saw possibility; a hope for futures
    bright. It wasn’t hard to see in clear vision.
    It was the division of ideologies
    and theologies that put up barriers.
    That was clearly visible. The problems
    were not hidden; solutions were obscure.
    It was for sure his legacy languishes
    in rose-colored number nine dreams!

  81. Walt Wojtanik


    Inklings and instincts
    insisted that he make plans,
    house-husband days waning
    and gaining in the confidence
    that his music still gave credence
    to his soul. Control no longer
    an obstacle; collaboration
    became his station. But it was
    old alliances that jostled his peace.
    So in a place, a secret space
    he kept his adventure hidden
    ( a forbidden trek into his past)
    A blast; a mania recreated in hopes
    of finishing ones business.
    Liverpool to New York looked bright
    except for that one night,
    everything was in plain sight.

  82. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    Storms rage wearing blackened clouds
    and flashy accessories to catch the eye,
    Nature, peels back the goth coverings,
    slowly revealing bits of blue blanketing the heavens.
    Sun shines through the crystals hanging low
    displaying prismed color to all below.

  83. PressOn


    This flitty bird is said to have
    a patch upon his head;
    they call the bird the ruby-crowned
    because that patch is red.

    I’ve seen this kinglet many times
    and learned of its renown,
    but decades now have come and gone
    and I’ve not seen that crown.

    They say it shows in great excitement,
    such as in breeding season;
    I usually see the bird in autumn,
    so that might be the reason.

    Just think of it! This tiny thing
    is quite a mini-masher,
    for, should a female come in view,
    the kinglet’s going to flash her.

  84. bxpoetlover

    What Is Should Not Be

    Because they line roads and rivers and sidewalks
    come in all shapes sizes colors textures
    more than half
    of the 81 civilian casualties of
    improvised explosive devices
    small munitions
    artillery shells
    in Mali
    are children.

    There must be more destruction–
    manual mechanical robotic disassembly
    mechanical breakdown
    hydroabrasive and laser cutting
    open pit and rotary kiln incineration
    silver 2
    biological degradation
    contained denotation
    scrap processing
    teachers schools and advocates
    to spread the word
    until every
    limb and step
    are safe

      1. Jane Shlensky

        Visions and Revisions

        He was the sort of boy who took his toys
        apart to see where lay zip, flash, and beep.
        The grown-ups watched him, naming futures like
        sweet incantations, promises of joys—
        mechanic, surgeon, genius, engineer—
        for something new with each day he revealed.

        And they were proud that at his age he showed
        such curiosity, inventiveness,
        until he calmly took the dog apart
        looking in vain to find its battery.