2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

It’s time for our third Two-for-Tuesday prompt. If you’re new to these challenges, you can pick either one prompt or the other. Or decide to do both. Your choice.

For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

  1. Write a construction poem. Construction paper, construction hats, and so on.
  2. Write a deconstruction poem. Opposite of construction poem.

Let’s do this!

*****

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*****

Here’s my attempt at a Construction and/or Deconstruction Poem:

“& on & on”

she builds a tower
& he knocks it down

because he built a tower
& she knocked it down

because she told a joke
& he didn’t laugh

because she failed to laugh
at his funny joke

*****

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert 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.

He has 5 kids who have all built block towers, knocked them down, and repeated.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

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168 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

  1. robinamelia

    Construction Project (NYC, 80s)

    Calf raises are the only way
    to build strong calves Arnold wrote

    And so I did them everyday
    not to look like him, a body builder

    but I lived just off the Great White Way
    and perfection seemed doable

    if not mandatory. Just add weights,
    and reps, and while you’re at it

    tricep dips to help you sashay
    down the street in that black miniskirt.

    I wasn’t yet thirty.

    Then time passed and gravity
    did her usual thing (after

    making it so much fun to ski
    swooshing down the slopes):

    now she moors me to my bed

    and every morning we parlay
    the terms of my surrender.

  2. tunesmiff

    HOME BUILDING
    G. Smith
    ≈~≈~≈~≈~≈
    Brick by brick,
    And stone by stone,
    Together we
    Built our home;

    Board by board,
    Nail by nail,
    Side by side,
    Its strength won’t fail.

    Some may try,
    To tear it down,
    Leave it ruins,
    On the ground,

    Or see it all,
    Go up in smoke.
    We roll our sleeves,
    And go for broke.

    Hand in hand,
    Heart to heart,
    Each new day,
    A brand new start.

    Brick by brick,
    Tile by tile,
    Held together,
    By your smile.

  3. Nancy Posey

    Daddy’s in Construction

    Our daddy’s in construction, we boasted,
    proud he had a hand in many a home
    in these parts. After strong winds tore
    through town, he was the first on site,
    boarding up windows, tarping roofs
    until morning. Folks didn’t have to call.
    He showed up on the heels of trouble.

    He taught us how to work, daughters
    as well as sons. We knew a hammer’s
    heft, could gauge nails with a glance.
    He taught us that most useful proverb
    in work or life: measure twice, cut once.

    Other fathers worked as bankers, lawyers,
    doctors—all noble professions, but our
    daddy taught us how to make something
    and to make something of ourselves.

  4. MET

    Ruhamah, the Beloved, Church

    The old church
    Was being used,
    As the members
    Built a new building
    Which would be a church.
    He stepped up.
    He had built roads;
    He certainly could build a building
    Which would become a church.
    Every work day,
    The members came along
    With some hired professionals
    To help build a building
    Which would become a church.
    The ladies came to work
    Refinishing the old pews,
    Staining and polishing them,
    Staining the new doors, and
    The altar on which to kneel and pray,
    To help build a building
    Which would become a church.
    The man laid the stone,
    For a wall and an outdoor altar
    On days the others did not work,
    Then planted wildflowers
    To bloom in the spring,
    To build a building
    That would become a church.
    With the old church
    In the shadows,
    At peace for its service over
    Forty years ago
    We celebrated Easter
    The building was built
    It had become a church.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 21, 2017

  5. MET

    Saying goodbye to the old Ruhamah Church

    The old building was built
    Less than ten years
    After a civil war had ravaged our country.
    Great Grandparents and one more great
    Had worshipped there…
    My mother was christened there,
    Grew up there, but
    Married in the pastor’s home
    To the dark-haired man
    Who would later help build
    The replacement.
    The old church was a shell
    That first Sunday
    We celebrated the new church…
    Proud of the building…
    Amazed at the journey.
    The shell would be torn down quietly
    During the weekdays,
    No sign of it the next Sunday,
    Except for the steps
    Generations trod each week
    To worship.
    But never was a more blessed goodbye
    To that shell of a building…
    Passover Sunday,
    We came one last time to worship
    At the old wooden altar…
    Then the Spirit moved, and
    One by one the members went to kneel
    And pray, and cried
    The love they felt…
    The very oldest went up to the front
    As well as the youngest
    Giving love and thanksgiving
    For a service well done, and
    Saying their tearful goodbyes.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 21, 2017

  6. Sara McNulty

    Foundation

    A solid foundation is vital
    for a building to endure .
    Quality should never be stifled.

    If materials are recycled,
    integrity must be assured.
    A solid foundation is vital.

    When you hold a title,
    your clients must feel secure.
    Quality should never be stifled.

    Corners cut will push buyers to rivals.
    Be confident when conducting a tour.
    A solid foundation is vital.

    Remember that you will be liable
    if workmanship is poor.
    Quality should never be stifled.

    Well-constructed buildings withstand trials
    of raging storms, lightning strikes, and more.
    A solid foundation is vital.
    Quality should not be stifled.

  7. MET

    Destroying

    It takes one vicious word
    To begin to destroy a soul…
    It takes one nasty bully
    To destroy it further,
    And once broken
    That soul often
    Repays the world
    With Hate
    Cruelty
    And
    Destruction.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 21, 2017

  8. taylor graham

    CONSTRUCTING WITH WINDMILL

    How to describe that cry – a hoarse scream?
    a ripping of world? edge of woods, rock den,
    tangle of wild grape. Is it the mother fox
    mourning her kit? Who wardens the uncounted
    creatures? A neighbor erected a windmill
    in drought to bring up earth-blood, sprinklers
    spinning silver streams to water his field.
    The wheel of vanes creaks and thrums.
    Not the cry we heard which has no name.

  9. MET

    Healing

    A soul broken
    Loses its ability
    To give love
    Or accept love,
    And like a broken bowl
    Takes patience,
    Takes kindness
    Takes time
    To make whole.
    A broken soul
    Can be healed
    And can be made
    Able to love
    And to receive love.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 21, 2017

    1. MET

      I have been very tired physically but all in my heart… Jeff Emmons… the rescue person I met with the cat going into witness protection… heard on his way back from Charleston, SC that his house was on fire with no one home and 10 cats inside and one very old dog… the dog and two cats have been found dead, five cats are alive and safe with him, but Checkers, Macavity and Fuzz are missing… please send good thoughts as he is going out to try to catch more tonight…prayers for him.. He is such a good soul…. RIP to the three I know are gone…especially Endora and Skittles…

      1. MET

        I have cried a lot because he is a dear soul and I have also cried a lot because three of the cats I helped him get… two are found Sheldon and Copper and missing of those three is the youngest cat he has Checkers…

  10. SarahLeaSales

    Deconstructing Sarah

    Constructed of the genes of my co-creators–
    the sassy Black Irish,
    the passive, graying Scandinavian (could’ve sworn Dad was French)–
    I end up a shade of Romanian white,
    sprinkled with freckles
    where either angels kissed me
    or peed on me.

    I am broken down, reduced,
    and deconstructed daily
    by the elements of life:
    Age, worry, stress, distress,
    illness, frustration, exhaustion,
    depression, desperation,
    and sometimes anger.

    Optimism has seen me through hunger and homelessness,
    through carlessness and marital strife,
    through my child’s unknown diagnosis,
    through feelings of friendlessness and
    the collapsing of my seemingly wonderful life.

    Is Optimism the Holy Spirit’s name,
    or is it something incomprehensible
    that dwells inside me?
    For does it not haunt my temple
    in a pleasing way?

    Is it I who holds onto Optimism
    or does it hold on to me?
    For everything in my life is broken,
    but not shattered.
    The cracks will always be there,
    but that’s how the light comes in.
    That’s where the wrinkles come from.

    Optimism is why I’ve done
    perhaps
    everything I’ve ever done.
    It is why I’ve chosen to stay here,
    why I’ve chosen to go there.
    It is why I know what I know,
    and chose not to know
    what I do not wish to know.

    Every gray hair–
    like the rings of a tree–
    show the world
    that I have made it this far.
    And someday,
    the day will come
    when I will wash it away
    with a five-dollar box of natural auburn,
    and my body will run red with the steaming shower water
    as if I have bled from every pore.

    1. Marie Elena

      SaraLea, the depth of your soul has made itself plainly evident this month. Prayers for the broken, and thanksgiving for the light … but even thanksgiving IN the broken. That isn’t easy, and is in fact is made only possible with God. Bless your heart. Keep writing. Keep growing. Keep that head high. And thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  11. candy

    A Poem Desconstructed

    this poem has listened
    carefully
    to every instruction
    regarding the
    construction
    of an ode
    the mode of
    building a great sonnet
    (sans bonnet)
    and the villainous
    villanelle
    so
    this poem considered
    each form
    each rhyme
    each meter
    foot by foot
    until at last it found
    the deconstructed
    way
    to say the words
    within its heart –
    I
    Love
    You

  12. MichelleMcEwen

    Daddy Built a Desk

    It was crooked and we got splinters
    from it, but my sisters and I
    loved it. Took turns sitting
    at it, anything just to be at it—
    writing, drawing, reading.
    I loved seeing
    daddy with his saw horses,
    bubble level, drill, and red
    tool box. That desk—
    his first project.
    Mama’s wooden planters
    came next.

  13. AsWritten

    SKYSCRAPER by Ken Bentz

    Whenever I pass
    a skyscraper being built,

    I marvel at the cranes –
    forty, fifty, sixty storeys tall.

    I’m not an engineer
    and not much of a handyman.

    I never want to to work
    at a building site.

    I never want
    to wear a hard hat.

    I just want to think
    about logistics

    and how those cranes
    will come back down

    without a crash.

  14. thunk2much

    Sand castles

    Those of us lucky
    enough to know
    about the
    impermanence
    of sand castles
    were tide-taught,
    and knew
    that entire realms
    can melt to ruin
    with a simple tug
    from the moon.

    Imagine my surprise
    when it was I,
    beside the pile
    of wriggling jelly
    in my moat,
    who tumbled
    numb and melting
    to the ground
    staring though tears
    at my castle
    standing tall.

  15. Janet Rice Carnahan

    ANY DAY NOW

    Coming In (part one – undone)

    Day
    Happened
    Wondering
    Plans
    Occur
    Nothing
    Waiting
    Watching
    Inviting
    Trusting
    Anything
    Patience

    All Together (part two – not yet done)

    If days just ever happened
    Here’s a day that’s just itself
    Wondering what might occur
    No great plans yet
    Nothing in the works

    Watching, waiting for something
    Inviting in the wonder
    Trusting anything can come
    True patience

  16. KM

    21.

    At the bottom of a warm Australian bay, the octopuses build. The call it Octlantis, and if the reports are true, even Plato would approve. Clam and scallop shells, collected and molded into shelter. A city of cephalopods, side by side, communicating by changing colours. The how, answered with observation and collected data, articles like the one I read now. We’re nothing if not curious, all the big-brained creatures. But it’s the why that evades me, and the marine biologists too. So long seen as the loner, do octopuses need? More than just shelter, safety —do they need each other? What if utopia is as simple as a common goal, a construction project? Linked arms, in arms, in arms.

    – Kim Mannix
    http://www.makesmesodigress.com

  17. Valkyri

    I construct myself

    I am the bricklayer, the mason
    of my own life and fate.
    I am a fanciful construct:
    part library, part church,
    parts looking (a bit) like an old castle,
    and parts winter cabin in a secluded maple wood.
    Yes, it seems odd, but I can
    put the turrets and gargoyles and old tire swings
    wherever I wish, and that,
    my dear friends, is the blessing….

    I choose the bricks carefully –
    These ones are called love,
    these others are named loyalty…
    these bits and pieces are called bravery
    and perserverance and honor…
    patience and compassion tile my floor.
    My mortar is mixed with both sorrow and smiles,
    past heartbreaks and laughter,
    and dewy morning summer cobwebs.

    Thacher Island lighthouse illuminates my windows,
    the black-eyed bricks holding them firmly in place.
    I choose where to place each cubed piece –
    constructing myself, thoughtfully and carefully,
    into what I want to look like, to feel like,
    to sound like. To be.

    Bricks of art and science built my lovely kitchen.
    The old hearthstones are made of poetry.
    Look, there are the bricks for my family,
    and my cats, surrounding my livingroom walls.
    My friends are the light, but solid, cornerstones.
    My steeple is made of my glory to God.
    I ring the bells daily. They peal my delight.

    I will not make of myself
    some impenetrable fortress
    with walls of a keep high and impassable… No, not me.
    I chose at the beginning to build an arched passageway,
    (the path lined with both humility and music)
    layered from the bricks of beauty, and kindness,
    through which ALL are welcome to enter…

  18. PowerUnit

    For The Birds

    They dug a hill into a bowl
    hauled it to a swamp
    the gravel not up to code
    unfit for foundations and roads
    but good enough to displace birds

    They dug big holes
    and drove in tall poles
    every building needs an anchor
    every neighbor needs assurance
    every project will meet its goal

    Laying cement and waiting for it to dry
    smooth and deep and gray
    watching birds in the sky
    looking for a tree to nest
    you wonder if the floor is a grave

    They bring in the cranes
    and hoist prefabricated units
    with giant black chains
    but don’t give any credit
    those birds might as well be airplanes

    Some day the birds will reclaim
    this kingdom of construction and stain
    and peck at our thick heads
    wondering how human progress
    met an end so quick and dead

    1. PowerUnit

      Interesting that while I penned this, two blocks away the people at the Irving Oil headquarters (Golden Ball Bldg) were watching a falcon rip apart a live pigeon up in a tree. This poem was inspired by a new parking garage that was just completed next to my place.

  19. taylor graham

    THOSE OLD BOOTS

    The cheapest boots I could find for running trails –
    boots that tried to keep up with my dog
    who ran bootless at a flying trot –
    those boots with miles worn into their synthetic soles,
    boot uppers manmade not leather, not waterproof –
    those boots started coming apart at the toes
    and the boot cushioning gave up.
    Those boots I kept wearing anyway,
    the boots that let dirt in between socks and sole
    so I seemed to be walking barefoot, not in boots at all.
    Those boots are slowly becoming earth,
    more earth than a manmade boot could be.
    Those boots still feel comfortable as feet to me.

  20. Walter J Wojtanik

    SUBTERRANEAN TOY EMPORIUM

    It chills their little fingers to the bone,
    the temperatures dip down to sub-zero while lower
    underground I’ve found the R-values are better.
    So, we’ve moved the operation below the snow.
    We go about our business without a hitch,
    and the switch has allowed the elves to build the toy
    to fill the shelves; productivity is key
    and I see the improvement daily. Balls and dolls
    and games and trains are constructed here,
    (even books for nooks and cases find their places here.)
    The Subterranean Toy Emporium is something new,
    it is probably known to you as Santa’s Workshop!
    Hop on up a spell and see for yourself,
    I’ll even to make you an honorary elf!
    (Of course, I still will remain the boss)
    for after all I am Santa Claus!

  21. Bobabob

    It was not broken when he tried to fix it
    In fixing he broke it
    Now he really must fix it
    If his wife finds out he surely will hear it

    He put down his tools
    And feels like a fool
    He looked to the sky as outloud he cried
    Oh why oh why did ever i try

    The repairman came and went
    His wife never caught scent
    He thought he was home free
    When the receipt she did see

    He paid a heavy price
    And not once but twice
    His fixing days are over
    Tonight he bunks with Rover

  22. Brandi Noelle

    Everyone is writing such thoughtful pieces for today’s prompt and I could not get my mind off this silly game, lol. It’s my Monday.

    They are just little pieces of wood
    Pretty simple concept, really
    Blocky and rectangular
    Construction of tower
    Balance is the key
    Cannot topple
    So stressful
    Hate it
    Jenga

  23. taylor graham

    THE OLD GOLD RUSH MINE

    All that deep-into-earth delving
    to raise precious gold to daylight.
    Dark tunnels for safety shored –
    hazards of depths that were buried.
    Release the treasure, mine it out.
    Inside, bad air and toxic waste.
    Renewal is Nature’s mantra
    wordless: unsettled hillside slides,
    eases into grass. Ferns conceal
    access to the shaft, to what was.
    Is this making or unmaking?

  24. Daniel Paicopulos

    Building A Life

    There is nothing else I would build,
    not from paper, stone or wood,
    except that which created me and you.

    There is nothing I would change
    about my life, even if I could,
    because it all brought me to you.

    There is nothing I could say,
    even if I should,
    that speaks louder than the me in you.

  25. Holly

    Renovation

    Beep-
    beep-
    beep of
    construction
    alarms tap-boom-boom
    of roofers yellow hazard tape,
    stuff falling down, in my bedroom nose-to-nose with a
    strange man in a cherry-picker. Beyond, curtain of blue sky satin sea solitude
    pelicans in precise formation whoosh of gulls from
    sand to air. At night overhead
    pin-poked black velvet.
    Frozen sil-
    ence reigns

    un-
    til
    beep-beep-
    beep begins
    again welcome work
    for some for others stolen still-
    ness

  26. Earl Parsons

    Broken

    One must first be broken
    In order to be repaired
    On must have the heart torn out
    In order to receive a new one
    One must have the mind blown
    Before reason can move in
    One must have surrendered all
    In order to accept true freedom
    One must banish selfishness
    In order to appreciate love
    One must sincerely ask for grace
    In order to truly feel God

  27. headintheclouds87

    She’s Making Rainbows

    Wondering why, despite the wet outside
    There was no pretty rainbow in sight,
    The little girl proceeded to make her own
    Entirely from arches of Play-Doh.

    Red was of course readily found,
    Orange proved a little obscurer,
    But was soon found in the depths
    Of her overstuffed toy box.

    Then out came the yellow,
    Green of course the next to go,
    Next blue, but then confusion about ‘indigo’,
    A darker blue, she’s told, well why didn’t you just say so.

    And finally violet to finish,
    All colours carefully arranged
    Into meticulously crafted arches,
    She was quite the little clay artist.

    With some white to spare
    For little fluffy clouds as well,
    She then glances outside again,
    To see there is no longer any pesky rain.

    Craving energetic antics outside,
    She casts her colourful work aside,
    A once-rainbow is quickly squished
    Into flat and gaudy pancakes.

    She’s told it’s got to be put away first,
    With a huff and a sigh, she complies,
    Stuffing each blob back inside
    Its matching pot, where darkness lies.

    And so a pseudo-rainbow is gone,
    Forsaken for the allure of the sun,
    But when another rainy day comes,
    She’ll build more doughy wonders for fun.

      1. headintheclouds87

        Thanks – I was inspired by my 2 year-old niece asking ‘Where’s the rainbow?’ when it rained the other day, plus her love of Play-Doh…and it kinda went from there 🙂

  28. rmpWritings

    Deconstructing to Construct
    by rmp

    I taught myself
    how to make a flapping crane
    not by following directions
    found in some book or
    watching someone else complete the task
    but out of curiosity
    which lead to me taking (stealing) another’s
    carefully crafted origami bird
    & unfolding it.

  29. De Jackson

    Continuing Triolet Play with Walter…

    Deconstructing the Hum-bugs

    Who doesn’t believe in the Yuletide?
    What kind of lowly insect would dis all that cheer?
    Where’s their sense of deck-the-halls pride?
    Who doesn’t believe in the Yuletide?
    It bugs me that their Christmas spirit has died.
    Bah! Better just skip to that Happy New Year.
    Who doesn’t believe in the Yuletide?
    What kind of lowly insect would dis all that cheer?

    1. Walter J Wojtanik

      RECONSTRUCTING EXOSKELETONS

      What kind of lowly insect would dis all that cheer?
      Tell me, what kind of gnat would do that?
      And I can smell those stink bugs from way over here!
      What kind of lowly insect would dis all that cheer?
      But this arachnophobe has nothing to fear,
      I’ll just bust out the Raid and that will be that!
      What kind of lowly insect would dis all that cheer?
      Tell me, what kind of gnat would do that?

      1. De Jackson

        Raid Parade

        Tell me, what kind of gnat would do that,
        build a bridge out of roaches and Raid?
        Some kind of brutish, crazy brat?
        Tell me, what kind of gnat would do that,
        parade around with a creation like that?
        I’ll tell you one thing – he’ll not get paid!
        Tell me, what kind of gnat would do that,
        build a bridge out of roaches and Raid?

  30. deringer1

    CONSTRUCT

    She built a wall around herself,
    and, cowering within, ventured out
    occasionally, with trembling heart.

    Few people knew; she seemed so poised,
    so all together and so friendly.
    But deep within there was a damaged spirit,

    a hurting child who could not seem to trust.
    She tried to free herself but the wall stood,
    made impenetrable by years of resistance.

    She cried to God, but the wall remained.
    She is not alone; many suffering spirits walk
    in my world. O God, may I be aware !

  31. Pat Walsh

    construction work
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    some spare planks
    can be hammered
    into a flight of stairs
    for heavy steps

    a few bags of calm
    can fix a mortar bridge
    of casual acquaintance
    among the estranged

    but it takes a lot of work
    to build an afternoon
    of quiet sunlight
    watching squirrels

  32. annell

    Construction/Deconstruction

    what are we doing    each day     collecting words

    pinning them to paper    gathering ingredients     bake in the oven

    before the easel     making marks    adding paint

    to painted surface    layers upon layers     it is to construct

    carefully adding     then taking away     what goes/what stays

    what is it that painting and writing     have in common     both are languages

    we are attempting to say     what is in our hearts     share what we feel

    one no more plain    no more understandable     than the other

    we think we know words     and their meanings     but then

    misunderstandings flourish     words fall from my mouth     you hear my words

    you are offended     your anger flares    a bonfire lit

    i have tried to explain     no offense intended    but you know what you heard

    you know the words      you know their meaning     there will be no reconciliation

    until……      i cannot say, until what     for i do not know

    like humpty dumpty      i’m caught in a crack     the door slams behind me

    November 21, 2017

  33. Eileen S

    Engineer No More

    A young girl, with a lot of curiosity, liked building things.
    One day after it snowed, she built a ramp out of hardened
    Snow so that she could slide down the icy hill for a few more
    Days until the sun melted it all away. She went to college

    and studied engineering with mostly males in her class.
    She read books with all kinds of symbols, formulas
    and triangle drawings that only a seasoned professional
    could understand. A bright and talented woman, she moved

    to central Alaska and worked on a project to bring energy to
    the Arctic. She helped install energy panels in a house to keep
    it heated throughout the winter. But in her male dominated
    field, she discovered that many of the men were interested in

    something other than her scholastic talents; they coerced
    her for ___. When she turned them down, the opportunities
    disappeared. Then she took a good hard look at her life and
    made the decision to leave the engineering profession.

  34. ReathaThomasOakley

    Grandpa Thomas helped build
    that little white church on
    Leonardi Street, don’t know
    what nail or board he touched.

    He died on his big front porch
    the one with the swing and
    rocking chairs where Granny’d
    crochet most hot afternoons.

    When I tried to go back
    inside that little church
    all the doors were locked,
    all the windows curtained.

  35. Melanie

    Tom’s House

    This is the house that Tom built
    This is the timber frame he used
    Well insulated and energy efficient

    This is the roof made of Welsh slate
    (Cheaper slates are available from Argentina
    But the distance they would travel
    Would enlarge Tom’s carbon footprint)

    These are the walls that Tom built
    Externally clad with chestnut clapboard
    Sustainable and indigenous
    This is the wool insulation that Tom used
    Four times the price of what is
    Usually imported from New Zealand

    These are the windows Tom put in
    Argon filled energy efficient solar glass units

    This is the air source heat pump
    Four times more efficient than the
    Most efficient condensing boiler
    This is the multi fuel stove that Tom installed and
    For every tree cut down Tom plants another

    This is the toilet that Tom installed
    Collecting and harvesting rainwater

    This is the wind turbine that will generate
    Clean and renewable energy
    Reducing Tom’s CO2 emissions.

    This is the award that Tom was given
    For his Eco-friendly house

    This is the sand that Tom built his house upon
    Composed of fine particles of rocks and minerals
    Transported by wind and water
    Deposited on this picturesque beach

    This is the storm that battered Tom’s house
    An atmospheric disturbance characterised by
    Strong winds, hail, thunder and lightning

    This is all that remains of Tom’s house
    An expensive and worthless pile of debris

  36. Sally Jadlow

    Construction

    Four-year-old Clare
    sits at the kitchen table
    strewn with ribbons,
    yarn, lace
    and bits of colored paper.
    I hand her a bottle of glue.

    She finishes, holds up her paper.
    She thinks she’s made
    a picture of pancakes,
    I think we’re making an artist.

  37. Anthony94

    For Sister Seraphine

    Somewhere between garment construction
    and Home Ec I learned to sew, hemmed
    the other girls formals for $3 a round.

    Stayed in on Saturdays to set sleeves
    on the matching Easter dresses
    a family of five girls and mom.

    There were many windows in the old
    wood framed room that sang in
    the wind as I imagined myself

    outside or whirling in some 60s
    frenzy. The teacher left the door
    unlocked so I could start early

    rolling taffeta and satin, no
    thimble just fingers that seemed
    born to the task so that this

    week, needing to roll a quick
    hem on a serged pillowcase
    I fingerpressed the edge

    and threaded a fine needle
    thought of that teacher who
    taught me confidence right

    along with construction, never
    seemed to doubt I’d do a good
    job so that I still do it today.

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