2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

Somehow we’re already on our third Two-for-Tuesday of the month; time is flying.

Here are the two prompts for today:

  • Write a life poem. The poem could be about the miracle of life, the complexity of life, the game of Life, or anything else that means life for you. Or…
  • Write a death poem. For most organisms, life leads to death. So this should be as full of possibility as the life poem.


Recreating_Poetry_Revise_PoemsRe-create Your Poetry!

Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!

In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Life and/or Death Poem:

“a matter of”

she says it’s a matter of life
& death but i’m skeptical

because i’m a skeptic
& that’s how we roll

she says to drop the inner monologue
because it slows the poetic pace

but i confess that i just can’t
because i’m a confessional poet

& that’s how we roll
& i like refrains

& i like couplets
& i like life & death matters

especially when they don’t concern me


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He realizes nearly everything is life and death.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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361 thoughts on “2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

  1. saymwaHolly

    Tobacco tomatoes
    peppers potatoes
    but not deadly
    to the hornworm.

    Late summer magnificent
    tomato vines tall in the garden
    collapse overnight to skeletal ribs
    formerly covered in green.

    The fleshier green of a lurking culprit
    hides behind a still curled leaf
    calmly continuing to munch,
    has avoided becoming
    himself a lunch

    for the wasp’s voracious young
    to devour alive
    from the inside out,
    then wasplets
    metamorph in joyous swarm
    that’s deadly
    to the hornworm.

    I end his banquet and his friends’
    not with the usual squish of victory
    but with a change of venue,
    picking him off to move him away
    where the end will come but not so soon,

    this crystalline late summer day
    when two towers fell
    and my heart
    had felt enough of death.

  2. DanielAri


    I’ve been writing a novel in linked verse
    because I have all the time in the world
    to put my protagonist in a tree
    and throw rocks at him.

    Don’t tell, but he has a whispered disease
    and a wife who has done him wrong.
    So now that he’s running out of money,
    it makes sense to break his car.

    I sent a sample verse to a friend
    and she said, “Is everything okay?”
    I said, “Fiction, fiction, fiction!”
    She shouldn’t worry.

    But it opened my eyes about my toy,
    how I tear and crumble it
    and smooth it out again,
    pretending all the while.

      1. DanielAri

        It’s hard! I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going. I just keep pressing on, forcing things to happen day by day, one poem at a time. But no idea what I’m going to have at the end of all this. :O

  3. ToniBee3


    thought i saw you standing on the boulevard
    it can’t be real, i know
    you left here long ago

    so many struggling in question marks
    wish it hadn’t been you
    you did all you could do

    dropped all your tears in mason jars
    smashed them against the world
    to see if truth would unfurl

    armadillos walk underneath the floods
    banded in shielding Faith…
    Faith— it saves them from the beasts of prey…
    it saved you from the beasts of prey…

    now you’re curled up in the arms of the Perfect One…
    bask in the Son—

    nothing else needs to be done…
    beneath the sun—

  4. pcm

    A New Life

    Yesterday I fit my belongings
    into a carry-on red valise
    a 50 pound aqua blue suitcase
    a black guitar gig bag
    a couple of file boxes
    a small purple rucksack
    to hold food for my four-legged friend
    his passport and mine

    As I sit in the plane to cross the sea
    to a new life I phone my sons we talk
    one friend calls with parental heartache
    another with news of heart surgery

    I fly beyond clouds from sundown
    to sunrise the next day awaken
    in the land of Coq au vin
    Saint-Emilion and Tarte Tatin

    I used to visit and longed to stay
    pined when away I felt displaced
    from home— dépaysée
    my pulled roots now dangle

    Grasp the dark find comfort
    in kind strangers old stones
    as I ramble through unknown
    alleys stumble upon plaques

    That mark le Boul’Mich
    le Café de Flore, the birthplace
    of Huysmans as a cool rain drizzles

    Philosophies may fold
    up inside umbrellas or coffee
    yet tonight on this street
    we share a common baptism

  5. thunk2much


    When I die do as you please,
    throw my ashes to the breeze,
    plant a tree, dress all in black
    gorge on pancakes, eat a stack,
    drink your fill, stay out all night,
    I’ll be too dead to give a sh*te.

  6. Maria Grace

    Easter Week 2017

    Life and Death stand side by side.
    We occupy the space between,
    Our days are rounded by their watch –
    We are comrades of them both.

    Nor can we from their kinship hide.
    A life, well-lived, has faced its death,
    Has walked in Light and suffered much,
    And known the Hope that bears defeat.

    For God has suffered naught to die,
    Unless, from Death Life springs anew,
    And every sorrow bears the touch
    Of Life emerging from the tomb.

  7. candy


    there is a fragile line between
    life and death
    one you can cross only
    there is no turning back
    and when you hop that
    you go alone
    all the things that tethered you
    left behind

  8. thunk2much


    To think
    it all started
    with some
    little specks
    for one another
    with no thought
    of the consequences.

    Would you
    go back if
    you could and
    stop them
    from bumping
    before it’s
    too late and
    we blow it all?

  9. MET

    There is a Goodbye in every Hello…

    The baby has arrived,
    A name has been given, and
    The celebration of this life has begun.
    But what they won’t tell you
    Little one while you are sleeping
    Close to those who love you…
    Today is the day that each one that you meet…
    There is written a silent goodbye.
    You will live your life long, I hope,
    Saying hello to many, but
    One day you will stand
    By a hole in the ground
    Saying your last goodbyes
    To one of those who holds you today,
    And said hello welcome to the world
    To the love of my life.
    But between that hello and that last goodbye
    There is a lot of life worth living.
    My advice to you while you sleep and dream
    Is to live those dreams and take a chance
    Whenever it comes. Take time to sit in the sun,
    Dance once or twice in the rain, and
    So that when your last goodbye finally comes for you…
    You can say it was a life worth living.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 18, 2017

  10. Tom Hayes

    of Lives and Pathways

    On occasion,
    I return to my hometown.
    It has a certain appeal,
    a comfortable feel
    with familiar faces and places.
    Friendly people setting stable roots,
    enjoying enduring relationships,
    homey conditions and traditions.
    For them it is home,
    but not for me.
    My soul is restless
    shifting and curious.
    I never sought escape,
    just to reshape
    my surroundings.
    Enjoying every stop until I didn’t.
    Feeding a wanderlust
    and appetite for change.
    I sometimes wonder.
    Should I envy their stability,
    or they my mobility?
    Our lives are the answer,
    finding our own paths to contentment.
    My pathway led to fine friends,
    safe shelter, and you.

  11. taylor graham


    He could have been a documentary
    on survival of the fittest, the quickest,
    canniest, feistiest, most supple.
    Celebrity of the barnyard, no black
    rooster – he was white as dawn
    crowing the morning awake, marching
    forward flashing his savage spurs.
    Not to hesitate, he’d slash your shin
    without provocation. His hens loved him.
    Their hero. Until the fox raided
    their yard one night, leaving nothing.
    The whole flock carried off
    into the woods. Three weeks later,
    the old rooster staggered home.
    We wondered what happened to the fox.

  12. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    Antony had Cleopatra,
    Fitzgerald had Zelda Sayre;
    Juliet had Romeo,
    Talk about a troubled pair.

    Hepburn had her Tracy,
    Bogie his Becall,
    I’ve got you, and tell you true,
    Dern if you don’t beat all.

    For the life of me,
    You’ll be the death of me,
    And can’t you see,
    I love you so?
    For the life of me,
    You’ll be the death of me,
    But if it’s meant to be,
    What a way to go.

    Tammy fought her Possum,
    Johnny walked the line for June;
    Jessi straightened out Waylon,
    You can hear it in their tunes.

    You keep me up all hours,
    And sometimes through the night,
    Sometimes ’cause we’re loving,
    And sometimes’ cause we fight.

    For the life of me,
    You’ll be the death of me,
    And can’t you see,
    I love you so?
    For the life of me,
    You’ll be the death of me,
    But if it’s meant to be,
    What a way to go.

    If it’s meant to be,
    What a way to go.

  13. Walter J Wojtanik


    I mourn the death of words,
    last gasps of a once hearty muse.
    Of late they refuse to feel inspired
    having been mired in grief and despair.

    It is there that she lays,
    splayed in her former glory,
    a story retold more times than it should.
    But, I cannot dismiss it as good.

    I do not find comfort there where
    she once played, things said linger
    and reverberate and as of late
    leaves me with these stingers until my heart bleeds.

    It needs release, but please, let these sessions
    end with my true expression, and not the depression
    that has laced her loss. The cost keeps mounting
    as I am left counting the corpses and divorcing

    myself from all former numbers. My mind staggers.
    It lumbers, a drunkard inebriate and confused
    feeling used and abused and choosing to dispatch
    each night until well past mourning slumbers. My words

    have hung themselves out to dry, and try
    as I might, they just don’t feel right.
    Words, last gasps of a once hearty muse
    remain mired in grief and despair.
    She’s no longer there!

  14. MichelleMcEwen


    we live
    we love
    we like

    we long

    we lean on
    we latch on
    we let go

    we learn
    we listen
    we lie

    we leave

    it be

    loathsome sometimes
    lonesome sometimes
    lopsided sometimes

    there be

    layaway sometimes
    lotto sometimes
    luck sometimes

  15. pamelaraw

    Retired Life

    It doesn’t happen overnight.
    You still wake up at the same time
    but there is no rush to get ready.

    You can stay in bed until the working
    adults leave, enjoy your morning
    coffee with the morning shows.

    When they sign off, you watch the rhythm
    of the neighborhood from your window﹘the rumble
    of garbage trucks on Tuesdays and Fridays,

    the woman across the street who beats
    her rugs on the days before the trucks come.
    Once you were part of dally exodus

    to buses and subways. Now you’re part
    of the legion of watchful eyes keeping
    note of when the nine-to-fivers come home.

  16. Sibella

    Spontaneous Mutation

    They raised their son to be a poet.
    They had no choice. He was born

    that way. Rambler stopping in the
    bank lot, fruitless search for a pen,

    gotta use the phone—damn you
    autocorrect!—because you can’t

    call the muse; the muse calls you.
    Immersion in language and, also,

    brackish water, the science of
    cracking crabs, the art of closing

    doors and eyes. Someday, they
    knew, he’d close to them for good.

    He’d need a house with stairs,
    for sitting to overhear, or at least

    a basement with bad light, the
    better to make his own. Would he

    love? Would he reproduce?
    The doctor, under her chart

    of the heart’s interior, sponsored
    by Nunc Pharmaceutics,

    busied herself with the lamp.

  17. barbc

    In Substance

    Each life, a single note
    a small vibration in brief
    disturbance of the force.

    A blip of energy travels
    through the substantial
    world on its way to
    insubstance — and

  18. Agata

    “New Life”

    Protesting wails.
    Protesting cries.
    Little eyes closed,
    The lights too bright.
    The world is scary
    with its loud sounds.
    A comforting warmth
    is holding him close.
    Calming him down,
    to sleep in her arms.
    Showered with kisses
    and tears of joys.

  19. Kimiko Martinez

    Per usual, I’m late to join in and overly optimistic that I can catch up.


    The death begins when
    you simply
    walk into the room

    First, you steal my breath
    Then my thoughts
    and all my senses

    The rigormortis
    of anxious

    stiffens each muscle
    as you walk
    in my direction

    You kiss my flushed cheek
    and this world
    all but disappears

    Copyright Kimiko Martinez 2017

  20. lsteadly

    Born of Light

    I carried you inside
    wondering how love

    did this to a body,
    stretching skin and sinew slow

    and sure enough to seize
    hold of my mother instinct

    insisting your presence would
    mark me, the world, first

    with your cries of wanting
    what you could not say

    next with your fingers
    reaching, clutching all they could

    touch, and in time
    transform me, your world

    creating a life born of light
    we carry inside, always brighter

    than the bones that will shrink
    and slow then seize with age

  21. key shore

    life in memory dies.

    everyday goes through a fright
    day taunts, night haunts in those eyes
    please let me count me in my own plights
    time floats , she dotes in mighty rites
    sea stands still , tide flutters in a distance sight
    day ends, sun cuddles in lap of reaching night
    I kiss her , miss her and ;
    memory hiss me tight
    that wonderful memory flees and redeems only lights.

  22. MET

    Death’s lost battle

    I was there walking in a cloud
    Away from all of you.
    It was airy and light,
    Sparkled with colors I had not seen.
    I heard a music in front of me
    A tune I had not heard,
    But then at distance
    I hear the cry,
    “Breathe, Mary, Breathe.”
    I stopped my gentle walk
    To listen to that cry, and
    Sucked like by a mighty wind
    Into the room, I returned
    To see anxious love ones staring.
    One asked, “What day is this?”
    “Wednesday,” I said irritated
    For where I had been I felt light
    Free of burdens I now carried,
    Again, I drifted away from them and
    Began my steps towards a peace
    I rarely felt in the life I was living.
    Those, who loved me, called me back repeatedly
    Hope each time I would come back
    Each time afraid I would not.
    This battle for my life
    Within a hospital room.
    Each time I stopped when I heard the love,
    And knew I could not leave them.
    Oxygen came and the battle was won,
    And death
    Would have to wait.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 18, 2017

      1. MET

        me too…my SAT(oxygen levels) were 46… normal is right about 95 or above…a student nurse came in the room and took my SATS and realized it was way too low… she went to get a nurse… no one came… I had had surgery two days before and it had been major surgery… and I had been to xray that morning and they found I had pneumonia… my doctor ordered oxygen for me not knowing that was basically not breathing…that student nurse never left that room and continually tried to get help… when the respiratory therapist arrived. He saw the problem immediately… and got me help…it was a strange day

  23. Nancy Posey


    Years after the deadly April storms
    he dreamed of the aftermath:
    exams and graduation cancelled,
    the cleanup, fraternity tailgating gear
    commandeered to feed the workers,
    the searchers, the displaced.
    His nights were filled with images
    of mattresses in treetops, one home
    reduced to piles of bricks beside another,
    perfectly untouched. Mostly he was haunted
    by the red X’s painted on the some doors,
    numbers on others, hieroglyphics of life
    and death.

  24. DaveIst

    This hard cracked slab of earth
    Desert-like barren brown
    Lies dry. Of life a dearth
    covered with a funeral gown

    Yet one longed for shower
    Heavenly wat’ring can.
    To this blank slate the bringer
    Of resurrection – new life began

  25. Nancy Posey

    Stunned but Still Alive

    A neighbor I don’t even know
    posts a spring reminder
    to the message board:
    If you see an injured bird
    or small animal, don’t attempt
    to be a hero. Leave it alone.

    And so the wood pecker that flew
    into my storm door and lay
    stunned in my yard,
    I let lie, checking for signs of life
    but fighting my strongest urge
    to pick him up,
    put him in a grass-lined box
    feed him from an eye dropper,
    find him earthworms
    in the flower bed.

    For an hour at least, he wobbled there,
    shaking his head as if not quite
    sure what had happened.

    Then his tiny bird brain drew
    on bird instinct and flew,
    alive one more day.

  26. patsyd


    Silhouette, the truth you tell
    Of all my journeys into hell
    Beyond the mortal flesh of me
    You linger there for the world to see
    Those moments spent in anguish and fear
    With a terror of living, yet holding life dear.

    Hope and faith that time has diminished
    Golden dreams tarnished, fleeting or finished
    Happiness vanished on wings of gray
    Becoming elusive since that fateful day
    Portraits on canvas could never reveal
    The despair and unhappiness I often times feel.

    When my heart becomes heavy and tears fill my eyes
    Smiles are a mask, just a clever disguise
    Mornings once held a promise of joy
    They shone with a glow like a child with a toy
    Now each new day is a burden of hours
    Time a harvest of weeds, no bouquet of flowers

    Life had never challenged my own mortality
    Yes the will to live must triumph, over grim adversity
    Cradled and nurtured in the boundless bowels of fear
    Survival, a taste, with the salt in every tear
    Each day a struggle, the night dark and long
    Till one glorious morning, in my heart, there is a song

    Deep in my soul lies a promise of great hope
    That God’s goodness and mercy, in faith, shall promote
    Paths I may follow when darkness descends
    Arising to heights that the blackness transcends
    Rejoicing in knowing that hope conquers all
    Once again, silhouette, looking proud, standing tall.

    Life is sometimes fragile- we can find our way through the darkness and find that light at the end of the tunnel. This was my journey!

  27. Anthony94

    How it Rolls

    Brand new mower with a few
    thousand hours of life in it

    first time around the hedge
    tree the fat new tire went

    flat, wouldn’t hold air for
    anything; had to go into town

    to sit timidly alongside the
    mammoth combine tires

    with tread the size of toasters.
    Wait its turn. Exasperated

    mechanics had to put a tube in
    a tubeless tire since the plug

    wouldn’t hold; that four inch
    thorn having been the death of it.

  28. Bruce Niedt

    NaPoWriMo’s prompt was to write a poem with neologisms. This one uses someone else’s (unintentional) neologisms, and I stuck in a couple of my own. I haven’t done a political poem this month – until now. So pardon me if you don’t agree – at least it’s humorously satirical.


    Though I’m wearing my hair rather wigly,
    and acting male-chauvinist-pigly,
    I’ve got a hot wife
    and a filthy-rich life,
    and I won the election quite “bigly”.

    My “yuge” win is “unpresidented”,
    a fact “leightweight chockers” resented,
    and I “schlonged” Hillary –
    now you all look at me
    get those aliens un-residented.

    Christian Right thinks that I am a star,
    ‘cos I said I’m pro-life, like they are,
    even though I’m the man went
    and broke each commandment –
    Two Corinthians walk into a bar….

    That climate change stuff’s just a plot
    that China cooked up, so it’s not
    getting warmer in here,
    it’s just perfectly clear –
    coal and oil will still keep burning hot!

    So what if I want to bomb Syria?
    Just cool it with all your hysteria!
    My belligerent patter’s
    not a life-or-death matter –
    well, maybe it’s old-age deliria.

    Now that mad North Korea dictator
    wants to make our great country a crater.
    Well, it’s time to get tough,
    I know things may get rough –
    if the fallout does clear, thank me later.

  29. MET

    The Soupmaker Tale of making soup

    The old soupmaker sat down across from me
    Her skin wrinkled by working a garden
    In the summer sun; her hands gnarled
    As the dogwood tree. She smiled back at me-
    Her smile delightful and full of life.
    She sat a bowl of her soup down for me.

    I tasted vegetable soup
    She had worked on half a day,
    The flavor of each vegetable distinct
    Yet like an orchestra the taste together they created
    Was delightful full of notes some bold,
    And some quiet.
    I asked her how she created this magic
    As I finished the last bite,
    And she lifted the ladle to give me
    A few bites more.

    Her old eyes grew quite serious
    With what I suspected was wisdom
    For having lived to be so very old.
    She then stood her frame
    As straight as her spine would let her.
    I can tell you the particulars of how to make
    A very good soup, but not how to make mine.
    You see each soupmaker makes a soup
    That tastes like them for each one places
    The things they like, and
    Leaves those things the don’t-out.

    What do mean, might I ask?
    She smiled a pitying smile
    That I did not understand.
    Soup is like life in many ways… she began
    You see I am fond of celery.
    So, I put more maybe- another one will put.

    I understood that part, but how else?
    I asked. Ah, it is the flavors you ask me
    About, and I tell you they take time.
    Soup takes time to bring the flavors
    To the point, they mingle together
    And create such a wonderful tune;
    Life is the same in many ways.
    It takes time you cannot rush it
    Just because you want to do so-
    Well, sometimes it gets spoiled.

    I regarded her dark eyes
    How far away and sad they seemed,
    And I wondered what regrets she had
    Of rushing life along. I had
    My own regrets also.

    She spoke softly when she spoke again.
    When you offer your soup to another one,
    You are offering part of you.
    When you love another person,
    You do the same.

    I finished the last few bites, and
    She patted my hands tenderly,
    I felt the strength there within them.
    Again, she said, I can tell you how to make
    A very good soup, but you will be the maker.
    The soup you make will not be mine.
    I felt my throat swallow hard
    For she had given me a truth.

    My life is mine alone to live.
    I leaned across that table, and
    Kissed her wrinkled brow,
    And thanked for the bowl of soup,
    And wisdom served that day.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 18, 2017

  30. April_H

    Knock-Turn #2: Life

    Science just heralded a new dwarf star
    not so very far away, as the crow flies.
    It has seven almost life-size planets,
    some might seem a little like ours.

    In the vastness of a Seven Flags parking
    lot or Canada, another Frodo Lives! decal.
    Seeing a photo of Mom, looking impossibly
    cute, scarily like last evening’s mirror.

    A dwarf with seven princesses. A twist made
    for the Disney brand. Pastels in each others’
    hip pockets. Their weights will be matters
    of public record, and who hogs the shower.

    There’s an old joke about that crow: What if
    he’s walking and lugging a flat tire? How far
    can you get in a year of waiting room nights?
    How fast can he forget/you forget his name?

    Of course, the stars are like old movies: our
    Starlets have lives before their discovery, Dad
    has always known her, and so has Fred. But
    now this little star’s a part of the Anthropocene.

  31. Jason L. Martin

    Planet Pantoum

    From the past we’re too far gone, the future not near enough,
    so we lay in wasteful wonder of what they’d think of us
    because we cannot speak to them, generations long gone
    and the generations far forward we’ll never get to meet.

    We lay in wasteful wonder of what they’d think of us,
    our ancestors who stepped off the boat and set the course
    for the generations far forward they’d never get to meet.
    We’d do well to take action now to preserve this planet.

    Our ancestors who stepped off the boat and set the course
    might ask why we’re destroying our very freedom to breathe.
    We’d do well to take action now to preserve this planet.
    before our future children must reserve the air they breathe.

    For the generations far forward that we’ll never get to meet,
    because we cannot speak to them, or the generations long gone,
    we’d do well to take action now to preserve thus planet
    before we can’t, before the past and the future are too far gone.

  32. Arash

    Life of a Poet
    by Arash

    Producing poetry is like pushing an empty pen
    Right into your guest’s sinless heart
    Write as the horror in their eyes
    Dulls engulfed into death
    But pray at their dargah
    Notice it is your own
    We poets worship
    Ourselves first
    We murder it
    Again and

  33. qbit

    This is almost too easy
    As it is finally
    A warm, Spring
    In Central Park
    And we are all
    Deeply involved
    In our various resurrections
    All have
    Our sunglasses on and
    Faces turned to the sun
    Like peonies in disguise
    And I eat
    The first, glorious
    Hot dog
    Of the season
    Even if
    It kills

  34. Shennon

    I grow weary
    I succumb to the ever
    increasing pressure
    It hurts my head
    My heart aches fiercely
    Blood becomes lethargic
    Life giving breaths cease
    I think I’ve found peace
    Til I’m pulled
    from my reverie
    to laboriously wander
    earth’s realm as the undead
    And once again
    I grow weary.


  35. Asha1000


    Nightgown dries on the line
    blowing in the breeze


    for the dressing
    after the last bathing
    that washes away the hurts
    and soothes achy muscles

    When the day is done
    I will don the silken shroud
    slip under the covers
    and return to the stars

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  36. Joy Stock

    The Death of the Worth of Life

    More and more
    More and more
    Video games
    More and more
    More and more
    Excessive violence
    In our recreational
    Life outside of life

    More and more
    More and more
    More and more
    More and more
    Accepted violence
    In their ordinary
    Every day of life

    Less and less
    Less and less
    Less and less
    Less and less
    Caused action
    In our reality
    Living of life

    More and more
    More and more
    More and more
    Lose their lives
    Less and less
    By us
    To make their lives
    Worth living

  37. Michelle Hed

    The Questions Keeping Me Up at Night

    Is the journey from birth to death
    a straight line
    or a circle?

    Is heaven
    what we conceive it to be
    or some preordained concept
    handed down by men?

    Will I get to choose
    what I do in heaven?

    Is there a heaven?

    Is there a hell?

    What should I wear tomorrow?

  38. Connie Peters

    A Lady I Know

    She was a bossy, confident lady, a tad annoying,
    the kind that tucked your tag in, if it was sticking out,
    or picked lint off your sweater while you were trying to listen to a sermon.

    She was gung-ho enthusiastic, sometimes trampling over quiet ones,
    a bit of a bulldozer or a hurricane storming through.
    Full of life and joy, she glided along like a surfer on a high wave.

    But when her husband of fifty plus years died,
    she transformed into a lost little girl
    searching for someone to hold her hand
    and help her find her way again.

  39. Connie Peters


    Watch the variegated, changing sunset
    Admire the wild flowers in charming array
    View the world from the mountain top
    Gaze into the eyes of loved ones

    Gasp at majestic mountain wonders
    Listen to the cacophony of bird calls
    Hear the chatter of children as they play
    Revel in the infinite notes of music

    Taste sweet, salty, bitter, delicious foods
    Savor a feast with friends and family
    Try new mouth-watering recipes
    Experience tasty food with thanksgiving

    Let a baby’s fingers curl around yours
    Snuggle in a soft blanket on a crisp night
    Caress strong shoulders of a loved one
    Bask in the morning sun on a busy day

    Sniff memory-inducing perfume
    Smell a turkey roasting in the oven
    Whiff fresh-washed air after the rain
    Breathe in lilacs in spring

    Walk, hike, run, climb, scramble
    Learn, grow, skip, dance, twirl, sing
    Build, create, draw, paint, write, worship

  40. Connie Peters

    The Voice

    We’ve found ourselves in an awkward situation,
    on earth under the skies looking for hope.
    We whisper, cry, shout about the inevitable,
    when our eyes close for the last time,
    some fearful, some apathetic, some expectantly
    waiting for the voice to call their names
    in warm and welcoming tones.

  41. Michelle Hed

    When I Grow Up, I Want to be Grandma

    she danced
    with the rain
    and laughed
    with the stars

    She whistled bird songs
    back to the birds
    and chatted
    with the squirrels.

    she danced
    with the rain
    and laughed
    with the stars

    She moved bugs
    out of her way
    while whispering
    to the plants
    as she gave them
    new homes.

    she danced
    with the rain
    and laughed
    with the stars

    She had only
    kind words to say
    and if she thought
    mean ones,
    she never shared them.

    she danced
    with the rain
    and laughed
    with the stars

    She always has time
    to share
    and sweets
    to wash down all words.

    she danced
    with the rain
    and laughed
    with the stars

    I don’t know
    how I got so lucky
    to have her in my life,
    but when I grow up
    I want to be
    just like her.

    she danced
    with the rain
    and laughed
    with the stars

  42. Jason L. Martin

    Day in the Life

    One monkey bar leads to another
    and the triumph of the rock wall
    shall not overshadow the journey
    from swing to balance beam to slide.

    If I could design my perfect day
    it would be this, how my kids fly
    through the air of the jungle
    like Tarzan and Jane, and only

    swoop by me to show off their
    bravery in defying the odds
    of the longest rope ladder
    that hangs over a fiery death,

    or a pool full of cotton candy
    depending on the adventure
    and their thirst for danger.
    This is my perfect day.

  43. Tom Hayes

    After Glow

    Your light was not an earthly thing,
    It shines beyond mere flesh and bone.
    It soars above like birds on wing.
    Your light was not an earthly thing.
    Long after prayer and worshiping,
    It comforts me, I’m not alone.
    Your light was not an earthly thing.
    It shines beyond mere flesh and bone.

  44. qbit

    Reaching for a Cup in a Dark Kitchen

    I’ve never been quite sure
    That your life
    Is actually separate
    From mine.

    Whether somehow
    You also know
    How the sky
    Looked that day
    In Texas,
    At the bits of mica
    Bejeweling the sidewalk,
    Carried groceries
    Through the heat
    Of the parking lot.

    We are one particular
    After the next:
    Surely you too
    Reach for a cup
    In a dark kitchen.
    You must
    At some point
    Have contemplated
    Your shoe size.

    Our deaths –
    I might not see it coming,
    And you might be surrounded
    By loved ones,
    But my last thought
    Will probably be
    That I need a Zantac
    And you will notice
    The mole
    On your nurse’s neck.

    We’ve never met
    You and I,
    But I love you
    My unseen shadow
    For this.