2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

Time to start another poem-a-day challenge. Let’s get this party started! Let’s poem!

For today’s prompt, write a day after poem. For instance, today is the day after Halloween in our house, but the poem could be the day after any event. Maybe it’s the day after a wonderful event, or it could be the day after a horrible event. I hope to see you the day after writing today’s poem.


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Here’s my attempt at a Day After poem:


It was the day after Jesse Wilcox went missing
that school was cancelled. The parents were worried
and whispering. The news crews came with cameras
rolling. The kids watched their TV sets and sent text

messages to each other. Barbara Bane heard this,
Eddie Click saw that. Marcus Church and Walt Waters
started a Google Hangout to hash it all out. Jesse
was a friend, kinda. At least, they knew who he was

before he started driving them all insane with his
Mustang. And then, he went missing. Last seen
at a drive thru two towns over. He was wearing
sunglasses at night, which was extra bizarre,

because he didn’t even wear shades in the day.
But then again, Jesse was always a little strange.


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

This is his eighth year of hosting and participating in the November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. He can’t wait to see what everyone creates this month–not only on a day-by-day basis, but when the chapbooks start arriving in December and January. Fun, fun, fun.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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263 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

  1. Fanny Pad

    The day after
    I hung a picture of you in the rafter
    you said you’d clean the attic and i was sick
    of it so i went to get it
    and bin it but what a surprise when i looked at the pictiure you were in disguise
    your eyes were open wide; you had lied, your age denied.
    A young girl looked at me; I could see you loved me.

  2. Cynthia Page

    September Twelfth

    We lived,
    though shell shocked,
    in fear – Why?
    Glued to our televisions,
    our hands shook with fear;
    our eyes filled with grief;
    our hearts ached for the dead,
    for friends and loved ones,
    for fellow Americans missing,
    still unsure who lived, who died.

    Propaganda began
    before the dust settled,
    before we knew
    who had survived,
    and who had died.
    The day after,
    after that disaster,
    all we had were questions.
    Instead of giving answers,
    they lied to hide intent.

    Such pain made us question
    ourselves, our worth, our pride.
    The unmistakable message:
    we were not safe, even here,
    whether at work, at home,
    even on vacation.

    New York City,
    our bastion of capitalism,
    was a killing field.
    We learned to pray
    every waking moment,
    and wondered if this
    was hell on Earth.

  3. HypatiaKant

    You’re missing it.
    You’re missing it all.
    The big things and small.
    The ways they’ve changed
    and grown so tall.
    You’re missing all
    of the fun,
    and their laughter.
    It doesn’t have to be this way
    just because we’re no longer
    “happily ever after”.
    You missed our daughter
    taking a chance
    to walk up to
    and talk to that new
    guy at school
    and her rushing home
    to find someone
    to tell that “he’s so cool”.
    And when she made the team,
    seeing her smile, hearing her “Yes!”.
    Graduation dance
    with her first strapless dress.
    You missed so much
    when they were younger.
    Now they’re older
    and they no longer
    ask where you’ve been
    the day after you’ve been
    out the entire night.
    And they no longer
    ask when you might
    be back after days
    of your absence,
    or about the promise
    you made to them
    that you would spend
    time with our family.
    Instead, you kept missing
    small, important things:
    family talks at dinner,
    the latest Fozzy joke,
    the newest student winner,
    sharing thoughts at bedtime,
    Saturday Family Movie Night,
    and Sunday as Family Day.
    You said you would make
    time for us and even made
    a promise that we would be
    your new priority.
    What had been, continued to be
    until you missed
    almost everything
    of their childhoods.
    Now that they’re
    entering adulthood
    will you do anything
    any differently?

    By Kimberly Murray

  4. browdd22


    The day following Halloween, I had enough candy to pain my insides for at least the length of a day
    I felt no regret until the tolerance of my digestion system snapped
    Restroom, hours spent, business conducted
    Agony, push, push, push and then

  5. bethwk

    After the storm
    the quiet
    the twinkling hush
    the pause

    Then the sigh,
    the quickly in-drawn breath

    and then the straightening
    the resolve–
    first the spine
    and then the inner image:

    This is what needs to be done.
    This is where the road goes.
    This is how we carry on.

  6. Bruce Niedt

    Late to the party this month – will try to catch up!

    Fall Back

    This morning we are hungover from chocolate
    and the buzz of dressing like someone else.
    Halloween turns the calendar and the moon
    (just past full) and this year, synchronicity
    dictates that we also turn our clocks back
    to steal another hour of time, to trick ourselves
    into a treat of extra sleep. We need it because
    when the curtain drops on today’s sun early,
    there will be just a hint of depression,
    of fatigue, like we have been slightly sapped
    by a ghost that brushed past us unaware.

  7. grcran

    Wait Til Next Year

    Parade was held. The mayor came.
    The day after the baseball game.
    In old New York the scowls weren’t pretty
    But folks did grin in Kansas City.

    by gpr crane

  8. mlr

    …the wind, at first, seems wild and uncooperative.
    Stand and face it, feel its power….breathe it in.
    the shreds of your garments flapping and streaming
    the moon whispers. ..Come…
    you are air…you rise and in your unbound joy
    you are over the trees, above the trappings of the city
    into the clarity of the perfect night…
    you are free…

  9. kattra

    “ghost story.”
    the next morning: waking up hazy after
    alcohol has passed through your system
    eyes glued shut
    didn’t wash off the makeup of
    the night before: too many shots, and

    the kind of too loud where you don’t realize
    someone is talking to you
    until they’ve walked away.
    you don’t know what time it is
    awake, not sick but unsettled
    fell into bed slow motion like
    the night before: you had worn a dress

    you couldn’t get out of by yourself
    (especially when drunk) but
    it’s on the floor by the bed
    and you are alone in the room.

  10. Sibella

    Catching up….

    Cousin Chipper

    The day after you killed yourself
    we were going through your papers
    and I found a Christmas card.

    Opening it, I saw a drawing of Santa Claus
    with a massive boner. No one else
    found this artifact as funny as I did.

    How I wish you’d been there
    to laugh with me.

    Pamela Murray Winters

  11. KarenAWK1

    The Day After
    by Karen Koger

    The day after I
    said goodbye to
    washed up lies
    and worn out regret
    self-pity and
    lost respect
    I found strength
    to live my life
    as it was written
    only for me

    and as tomorrows
    quickly become
    days after
    my life once repressed
    now on a road of
    success staying true
    I’ll recall how
    I grew
    that first day after
    I said goodbye

    Finally on board! Now…to catch up the days!

  12. poet42

    Unraveled Resolve

    The day after
    I resolve to deal
    with a bad habit
    that’s hurting my body
    and my soul,
    it seems my desire
    to change and
    do better or be better
    dissipates like vapor.
    Why was my craving
    to change so strong
    just yesterday?
    How did my determination
    disappear overnight?
    Did some dirty demon
    come while I slept
    and snatch my fervor
    from my mind?
    Did that ne’er do well
    plant indifference there,
    so now I have this mindset:
    I could not care less
    if I ever change this habit,
    and I’m even wondering
    on this day after
    if the flaw I hated yesterday
    is really so bad.

  13. IrisD

    Day After Grandchild Goes Home

    Startled awake, I lie listening to the quiet.
    No quiet breathing next to me.
    No small hand draped over my arm
    or leg lying across my abdomen
    I get up and make my cup of coffee,
    Put out two bowels, plates, glasses
    Then sadly put one set back
    Muttering to myself, I pick up discarded toys and hairbands
    I go to work early because the house seems a tomb.
    Day after grandchild’s visit is the most lonesome day of month.

  14. annell

    The Behavior of a Small Child

    it is something i like to do &nbsp:   a poem a day &nbsp:    oops i forgot

    and now it is the day after      the storm      on times square

    i really didn’t mean to start anything      just trying to make a plan      someone took issue

    began sputtering      hissing      snapping

    speaking in such a disrespectful way      face all red      saying

    i followed you thursday      and didn’t say a word      interesting how

    what we say      and how we say it      speaks louder than the words spoken

    you told me      spending the day at the met      was not what you like to do

    you aren’t interested in art      you have no respect for me      I have seen this before

    there was the day in my home      i had to ask you to leave      then the day in niko

    you were rude      and disrespectful      your behavior is that of a small child

    November 4, 2015

  15. Stephanie H.

    Will to Live

    It took me by surprise
    She didn’t know me at all
    Her trembling voice and crying eyes
    Took me by surprise
    It was a gang, and I prayed for life
    But now she’s getting the call
    It took me by surprise
    They didn’t know me at all

  16. shellcook

    Pay The Poobah

    Since I told you the secret,
    the one you thought to know,
    you haven’t been quite,
    who you and I, thought you were,
    just a few days ago.

    I don’t know how to spindle that.
    the colors, they are skewed
    it seems, just a bit,
    of a smudge or a wisp,
    just off, I see, a little bit.

    Just enough to remember,
    this shifting, out of focus, state
    sits uneasy in the wee, dark back
    of that worried little place,
    where the high Poobah

    weaves his daily lot.
    He rules this place,
    I am certain of that,
    but today I don’t think I’ll get his help,
    he has ways to make me pay.


  17. Yolee

    It Wasn’t On Sale

    Freedom felt like the blanket came off; you know the one that never quite
    covers your feet because it was made for smaller people and its thread
    count is not enough to hinder winter’s shock of cold? The frigged air
    floods the deepest valley within you. But there comes a second that strays
    away from the hour that had been struggling to keep up with its minutes.
    It offers up hope like smoke from an altar. The day after
    the divorce, nearly moment after moment an alarm went off in my chest:
    What are you going to do now?

    Because the breakup didn’t happen with the judge’s consent,
    for some time I had flashes of seeing myself waiting to checkout
    at Macy’s with a comforter feathered in warm promises.

    I was ok not knowing how it was all going to work out. The day after
    was not for checking off equal sided boxes, but for letting the children
    camp under the oversized covers.


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