2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 7

Wow! We’ve made it a week into the challenge now. Let’s keep the momentum going.

For today’s prompt, write a hardship poem. The hardship could be moving forward after a tragic loss, having to work through a difficult problem, or even just showing up to work. It can be serious, funny, or complicated.

Here’s my attempt at a hardship poem:


Be a man. Man up. Take it like a man,
but when does it become too much to take?

“I’ll kill you,” he said, but still many say
the victim should shoulder some of the blame.

In grade school, I kicked a boy’s butt who tried
to bully my brother, but fell silent

when a kid punched me in the arm all through
sixth grade. Is it an eye for an eye, or

turn the other cheek? He said, “I’ll kill you,”
and still he’s at fault for being bullied,

like how I felt at fault for being “loved”
as a child. But victims don’t ask for it;

we never do.


Publish your poems!

Learn how with the latest and greatest edition of Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. It’s jam-packed with listings for poetry publications, publishers, contests, grants, conferences, and more. Plus, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry.

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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and no stranger to bullies and those who force their will upon others. He knows how easy it is for some people to say, “speak out,” but he also knows how hard it is to do so, whether you’re a little girl or grown man. Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere! 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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256 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 7

  1. foodpoet



    Hardship is transitory, I am
    Aware that you are with war, Here is
    Rising calm and I am the one that needs Hops and Lemon Balm.
    Dream for me , who cannot
    Sleep. I wake each night,
    Hope for a dream of you.
    I dance each step for your,
    Pause in peace to send you hope.

  2. dandelionwine

    Minding the Gap

    She had the time. His was a more hollow holding,
    grasped somewhere behind the matchbox cars
    smooth in his fingers. They shared conversation,
    silence, the blue sky above their heads. He reached
    and they held hands, not as strangers or partners but
    as children belonging to the moment, to each other.
    For that immeasurable expanse of breaths, they sat
    until her time had passed. When she stood, his words
    softly rose to meet her– Thank you, I am lonely.

  3. Glory

    A Lost Summer Romance

    The sun shines, the sky is blue,
    I stand here in the park with you.
    You smile: say you love me true,
    I laugh, say I love you too.

    The summer sun sadly dies,
    the sky I see with clearer eyes.
    I stand remembering all your lies,
    our summer romance sadly flies.

  4. Jezzie


    I’m very bored, he said.
    So get a job, said I,
    or sack our cleaner
    and our gardener.
    You could do it yourself.

    But he didn’t.

    I need a new car, he said.
    So do I, said I,
    but to work I must dash
    to earn some more cash.
    You could buy it yourself.

    But he didn’t.

    I need a holiday, he said.
    I’m busy at work, said I.
    So visit your mother,
    or even your brother,
    or you could go on your own.

    So he did.

    I can’t live like this, he said.
    Neither can I, said I.
    So why don’t you leave me?
    It wouldn’t grieve me
    if I had to live on my own!

    So he did.

  5. seingraham


    We exchange our
    usual nods over
    our back fence
    but, this autumn
    as the leaves
    hasten to depart
    the trees

    I see how haunted
    her eyes are
    She tries to smile
    She has always
    been such
    a sunny person
    A usually verbose
    sort myself,
    I stumble over
    my words

    Finally reach across
    the narrow gap
    separating us
    Am glad to hold
    her hands in mine
    Say nothing as we
    both just shake
    our heads
    Rock gently on
    our heels
    Let the tears
    fall gently