2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 12

For today’s prompt, write a lament poem. Maybe you lament a relationship or a missed opportunity. Or maybe it’s that doughnut (maybe speaking from personal experience). Whatever it is, today is the day to let it all out–in poem form, of course.


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Here’s my attempt at a Lament Poem:


& if we speak again
i’m not sure what to say
which question to ask
whether to worry over the past
or fret for the future

& if we don’t speak
there will be so much
left unsaid


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 laments how fast April slips away each year.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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263 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 12

  1. Gigglette


    I know I shouldn’t have let it happen,
    I think about it sometimes
    in the quiet of alone.
    I did not see that coming,
    Why didn’t I?
    I noticed everything else but not that,
    Why not that?
    What if ?
    IF yells at me
    in the quiet of alone.
    Many days , months , years later
    I still wish
    The repetitive ghost IF
    haunts me
    in the quiet of alone.

  2. CJohnson


    I have been playing a game of hide and seek all my life
    Even when I didn’t know what I was hiding from
    I thought I was hiding from my sister, my brother, my cousin
    My mother, my father, my dog
    The weather, too, because when you grow up in Kentucky
    You have a place to hide
    I didn’t know I was hiding from prying eyes and picket lines and policies designed not to help but to hate
    My favorite place to hide was the closet
    The closet was safe
    It was safe, then
    It was safe before I knew what I was really hiding from
    It was safe before I knew what the closet really was
    What it stood for
    It was safe before I really knew who I was
    It was safe when gay just meant happy
    And I still hide
    I fear ready or not now that I really know
    I hide but someone finally decided to seek
    She holds out her hand
    Metaphorically, of course
    I was too lonely to stay by myself for too long
    I texted her
    But she didn’t wait a moment before she was there for me
    I wasn’t alone
    I was still hiding
    But not by myself
    I hide and I joke with those who had sought me
    Jokes because I don’t know what else to say
    Jokes because how else to cope but with humor
    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up
    I have a dream that one day people will say that love is love
    Is love is love
    Is love is love
    Is love is love
    And they will mean it
    And it will not be killed
    And it will not swept aside
    That we will not be killed
    That we will not be swept aside
    I have a dream that one day this will be true
    The vast majority of gay people and the vast majority of straight people want to live together in harmony
    Want justice for each other
    I have a dream that one day this will be the whole majority
    I have a dream that one day we will tame the bitterness and hatred of mankind
    And that will we turn into love and love and love and love and love
    But for now I play hide and seek in the dark

  3. BDP

    “How I Miss You”

    A version of Miss Dickinson: tell what we feel
    slant. Hurt that’s hard to grasp: ice-burn, slippery still.
    Or, said otherwise, sometimes the way to push mountains
    is not to climb. A kind of ignoring. When at last
    I’m ready to speak heartbreak at your loss, I see
    instead embers of an outdoor fire-ring, lingering smoke
    a language from a worn book, words you wrote down
    in a place inside of me I cannot tear out, a page, a flyleaf
    with nearly invisible ink, the title. Sentences won’t come
    though much was contemplated in the unspoken night—
    the chores of the day, loon calls, the eagle in flight,
    or dusk when coyote kits raised voices in one long scream.
    I cannot lament the moan of wind, its ghostly probe
    into the cracks of my window. A comfort, as well,
    to think of how you loved your small, fat lake, work
    finished for the evening, life. At your compound sprawl,
    you doused embers, rose for the house. For now, this is all.

    —B Peters

    Endwords from Mark Strand, “A.M.”

  4. mlibra


    I want to cry
    I want to break down
    I want to punch
    I want to scream
    When I think of her
    Everything goes off my mind
    But that night
    The events
    Going home
    Her pain
    Her heart attack
    The EMT’s
    The crying
    The news
    The pain.
    The next day
    The visitation
    That’s a blurr
    I remember the flowers
    The crying
    The hugs.
    The funeral.
    I remember seeing the family
    My cousin Mac
    Her eyes
    Looking so full of pain
    Full of sorrow
    Full of misery.
    Just like mine.
    All because of that night
    December 3rd, 2014.

  5. Brian Slusher


    Working in the garden, I miss the soft
    Brush of you sidling beside me, you having
    Briefly abandoned your champion nap
    To stiffly jump down from your
    Wicker chair to check in with me,
    To remind me you exist. Existed.

    I regret I thought you were safe,
    Deaf as you were, sleeping out
    Your last days in the shade
    Of the porch or on the warm
    Bricks of its steps, as the shadow
    Of birds crisscrossed the yard.

    I lament the Dog of the World
    Slips his leash, and only sees you
    As a rabbit or a plush toy and shakes
    You by the neck so quick you
    Don’t even struggle.

    And as the owner slobbers
    Useless apology and I approach
    Your broken loveliness, I repent
    My repeated prayer Please
    Let her be dead please let
    Her be dead please please

  6. MargoL

    Where has My Dream Child Gone?

    Where has my dream child gone?
    No long embrace against my pounding heart,
    only a muted conversation remains.

    Time passes, flinging its short arm about me.
    Peering into the blurred mirror of my life,
    like a file deleted.

    I feel the betrayal,
    the wound is not inside my head
    but in my heart.

    Two people inside a room,
    however one remains silent.
    I am soundless.

    Where has my dream child gone?
    Lulled into Facebook ,
    plugged into his I-phone.

    Silence has choked us,
    yet you loved me once as a child,
    while playing Mr. dress up.

    Where has my dream child gone?

  7. Glory

    Memories (circular poem)

    Round and around memories within my head
    of days long gone, days I spent with you.
    Forgotten, the tears, your hash words
    your coldness that broke my spirit
    the way you hurried away, didn’t turn back,
    never to return, only in my head
    where round and around spin memories of you

  8. drwasy

    On Moving Out

    It is this I mourn:
    the eruption of asparagus,
    return of ruby-throats,
    daylilies which display
    their splendor then
    shrivel to dry husks
    by sunset

    (Oh, how I love to deadhead
    flowers in our garden!)

    The river birch spreads
    a translucent canopy
    over me as I write
    on the weathered deck,
    rhubarb spears unfurl
    crimson-veined leaves,
    grass greening as summer
    storms swoop down
    like the barn swallows.

  9. samisal

    Did you notice me glancing towards your shoulders as you danced?
    I watched you from behind this latticework
    A series of gold curves stretched from my eyes to the ground
    But I
    Was only watching your long gold fingers
    Imagining them weaving into someone else’s hair
    Imagining them rolling up my skin instead of cigarettes
    These teeth that you hold hostage in your mouth
    These eyes in my head that don’t belong to me
    Are tracing your nose with a protractor
    And wishing to be the cigarette between your golden fingers, between your lips.

  10. Jrentler

    ultra-sound crush

    like a dolphin
    or merman king
    lifting my gown

    squirting the jelly
    across my belly
    slick like orca pelt

    pressing echoes
    beyond my pecs
    nipples sting
    with sea salt burn

    the leaf & mercedes
    & all chambers five

    you surf my ribs
    like waves
    it’s not your lips
    but your ring
    that scrapes up my thigh
    like a crown of shells

  11. seingraham

    (in memory of Thomas Lux 1946 – 2017)

    We were touring the Brooklyn Bridge
    when I first spotted you, your long yellow-gold hair
    framing your face as you strode out in front,
    leading the others, poets and poetry lovers
    alike; you had a book open but were reciting
    from memory, something of Whitman’s I think
    I remember wishing I’d gone at least once
    while I still had the chance.

    When I got back to the hotel, I thought reading
    your work would make me feel better, but no,
    it just reminded me of what a fine poet you were
    How you were taken far too soon and how much
    you had left to say; I don’t know that for sure,
    but you were so full of life and advice for us
    at that workshop, I’m guessing you didn’t
    know you were sick then.

    I remember the day I read you’d died. I thought
    I was being pranked; I knew right away it wasn’t
    possible, no-one could be that cruel. I made
    such an awful sound, my daughter ran upstairs
    to see what was wrong – I was wailing without
    even realizing it, just rocking back and forth
    and full-on weeping and wailing.

    Why did your death feel so unfair? Was it
    because I always just took it for granted
    that I could take another workshop from you,
    that when I finally got my chapbook together
    – you might write a blurb for the back
    (something you mentioned you’d be willing
    to do at the original workshop, and I later
    learned you were generous about doing).

    Was that it? Was my grief all about what you
    could do for me?
    No – no, it wasn’t. I felt a physical longing for
    your presence in the world. You were one
    of the good guys – an honest poet and Prof
    who didn’t mince words but who was never unkind,
    a larger than life man who inspired with the way
    he wrote and lived

    Your munificence to other poets, both beginners
    and those more established, was renowned…
    I didn’t learn of it fully until you were gone,
    but I’m not surprised.
    Your poems were diverse and, as Billy Collins likes
    to call his own, “hospitable”, something you felt suited
    yours as well
    You also read in a way that made audiences sit up
    and pay attention
    And you taught your students the importance of reading
    with intent, and writing that way too

    When I read your poems, whether it’s from something
    recent like the God Particle,
    Or from something early like Memory’s Grenade, I hear
    your booming voice
    That voice insisting that every poem is important and
    should be heard
    I loved that about you, still do – you believed in the value
    of poetry and you imparted that to us.
    Do I miss you? Immensely.

  12. Michelle Hed

    All is Lost

    Their souls cried for warmth
    a longing so powerful
    it had a voice of thousands
    with arms reaching skyward
    seeking what isn’t here,
    craving what can’t be seen,
    hearing the impossible,
    feeling grains of truth
    but alas there is no beach
    just a lonely oak savannah
    covered in snow
    with the howling wind
    of ole man winter
    slapping our face
    as we cry for spring.

  13. grcran

    bazaar lament

    feeble label lamentable
    free-reign on refried beings
    has-beens has-not-beens freed
    being is for thieving
    believing is foreseeing
    lament is only mental
    move the la

    gpr crane

  14. PSC in CT

    Missed Again

    As yet another photo op
    leaps up
    & plops
    back into the water (un-
    focused, unframed, un-
    I once again recall with rue
    every single time
    this who
    came just that close
    to getting the perfect shot,
    and then,
    did not.

  15. DaveIst

    Good bye

    The tears
    Trickle down.

    The ship leaves
    Unloosing from the quay
    Hands stretched out
    Fingers sliding

    For the last time
    Words dribble
    Eyes flutter
    Chest rises

    My Love
    Where have you gone?
    Those arms so strong
    Those words so warm
    Those glances so alluring
    Those promises so sure
    Where have they gone?

    Farewell, my love

  16. Yolee

    Lament of the Wordless Poet

    Why do words binge on air like cinders of a fading flame?
    Where does the secret language of love make her bed?
    Who will avenge a sonnet’s crime of breaking and entering oblivion?
    When will reflections break the two-faced mirror?
    How long is wordsmith a wordsmith?
    Who giveth and taketh away the poet’s arch?
    What are the dimensions of the sackcloth of a poor poet’s soul?

    Oh that art would whistle from that unmarked room-
    That vowels and consonants would come dancing in
    and rest on the fault lines of

  17. Julieann


    For eleven days I pat myself on the back
    Each prompt is met with promptness
    And excitement, well, sometimes trepidation
    But carry on I did, not to miss a day
    Until the day’s prompt is ‘lament’
    And that’s the day I miss

  18. Trish

    I wrote wrote this in 2008, rewrote it in 2017, and rewrote it again 4-12-18. The three laments show changes in me and my writing. Sorry to be late, I couldn’t get signed in yesterday.

    Song of Lament 3
    When will it cease, O Lord;
    How long must I endure before I find shelter?
    Like a hail storm, disappointments
    pelt down upon me.
    I am bruised and bleeding.
    There is no tree beneath which I can hide.

    When will you hear me, O Lord;
    How long must I cry out and hear silence?
    My friends are dead.
    Those who know me have fled.
    They tend their own fields
    as mine are pounded down.

    Wrapped in dark clouds of failure.
    I see no joy in my future
    only drudgery and isolation.

    My peers conspire against me.
    Comrades take joy in my defeats.
    I am used then forgotten by all.
    Will no one offer me aide?

    Why, Lord do you mock me,
    ridicule and deny my dreams?
    There is no hope except in You!

    How have I offended You?
    You once watered my field with gentle rain
    and sent sun to shine upon me.
    Your trees provided shelter and shade
    I could rest.

    I was the most content of women
    living in the light of Your favor.
    The work of my hands brought forth fruit.
    Children nursed at my breast
    and played around my feet.

    Companions shared in my abundance;
    We danced in the light of Your goodness.
    We danced for joy with praise on our lips.
    Why did I turn from you, O God?

    My pride I allowed to separate us.
    I called Your gifts my due.
    and failed to give praise and thanksgiving.

    Yet, You call me home.
    You seek me out
    and speak to me in ways I understand.
    You ask me to welcome You

    My God, You are loving and merciful.
    You created me to be Your beloved child.
    I will again see the sun
    and dance in the arms of Your love.

    I have but to trust Your goodness,
    cry out to You in my weakness.
    And then to rest in the shelter of Your mercy.

  19. pipersfancy

    Expanding into Life

    I hear the chirrup of birds out my window.
    Perhaps, they never stopped singing, but
    their trills sound miraculous to my ears—

    denied the lyrical notes of happiness far too
    long—my forlorn self chose silence over joy.
    But, how does one let go of Sorrow’s hand?

    The greening of spring brings a new season.
    Perhaps, time’s passage has done its work,
    and Nature has been put right in the world.

    Somehow, my soul has built a new foundation
    with all the pain that tried to obscure beauty
    from my sight. A fundamental new spark has

    burnt open my eyes, and true sight gives all a
    new appreciation of life. I’m filled. The void,
    where suffering was endlessly consumed, now

    expands with each new breath I take. I’ll sing
    my own song this day, and every day forward
    my tremulous voice grows stronger. Soon, I

    will become an ode to my own joy! Let others
    wear black sackcloth for me no longer. My
    countless days of lamentation are over.

  20. mattmacd

    You dreamt more than you
    You wanted more than you
    You loved more than you were wanted.
    You saw more than you were

    The trick with age
    is that people will always
    mourn the passing of time.

    “What could have”
    instead of “what did”.

    The esoteria
    of it, is that
    “What did” looks pretty damn good in the
    rearview when you’re driving forward.

  21. Brandi Noelle

    Midnight Obsession

    Do not lament, silly girl
    for heartaches belong
    buried in the past.
    Forget the one whose heart
    you crushed twenty years ago
    and don’t spare a thought for
    the one who left you broken
    drowning in a pool of tears.

    What’s the point of dwelling?
    Words spoken in anger
    in haste
    only to fill you with regret
    later as you humbled yourself
    to your mistake.
    However fleeting, however brief
    it haunts you still
    though decades have passed.

    Do not allow the blush
    to creep back into your cheeks
    as the heat of old humiliations
    flushes your face
    burns in your soul.
    Was it not enough
    to suffer these missteps
    once in a lifetime?

    Rest your weariness
    release the tension
    building in your shoulders
    from years of remembered

    It’s 3 am.
    Go to sleep.

  22. Smruti

    Distant dream

    When we first met
    everything seemed
    so good
    so nice
    so true
    like a dream come true
    It was perfect
    There was
    so much to talk
    So much to know
    So much of interest
    Our desires
    to meet soon
    Delightful eagerness to start
    our future together
    and live forever and ever

    The voices between
    us now has faded
    Calls get disconnected
    Dates get cancelled
    Unrealistic expectations-
    Small misunderstandings
    turn into bigger bitter arguments
    Angry encounters into
    harassing hateful incidents
    A lot seems to be missing
    Everything seems a distant dream


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