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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 219

For today’s poetry prompt, write an “on the run” (or “on the loose”) poem. Could be a person on the run, or an animal, or even an idea.

Here’s my attempt:

“stopping by boats on a summer evening”

-after Robert Frost

whose boat this is i think i know.
her house is in the city though.
she will not even care i’m here
when we last kissed so long ago.

perhaps i had too many beers
and that is why i somehow steered
into the warmth of this small lake
the shortest evening of the year.

i did not drink for some heart ache;
my car the water soon will take
like some grand design lost to sleep;
though it’s this thirst i cannot shake.

the lake is lovely, dark and deep.
but i’ve collapsed into a heap,
and this is where i’ll count my sheep,
and this is where i’ll count my sheep.


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153 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 219

  1. JRSimmang

    Friday nights,
    I find myself planted
    belly up to the bar at
    Morrow and Bakers.

    The bartender’s name is Jacky,
    at least that’s what her name tag
    tells me.
    She works weeknights, so I
    only see her once a week.

    Jacky’s an older lady,
    perhaps in her sixties,
    old enough to be my mom,
    so I can’t help but think of her that way.

    Usually, our conversations
    don’t extend past
    but I’ve been coming in here a while,
    though it’s a dive,
    and Jacky’s become a friend of mine
    and this bar is our treehouse.

    I always wonder why it is I come here,
    come back Friday after Friday,
    and I think it’s the way
    Jacky hears the bell
    above the door and
    her eyes turn to
    face the draft,
    her lines seem to disappear and
    for just one moment
    her hair hints at a
    luscious brunette,
    and then she shadows over,
    face back to the brew,
    eyes back to grey.

    I asked her about it once.
    She said she hadn’t had enough

    The next week, I asked again,
    because now that I noticed it
    it has become like a secret,
    a silent nod
    that her heart skips a beat every time
    the bell above the door rings.

    She glances sidelong at me,
    puts down the glass she was drying,
    and says,
    “I guess we’re friends now.”

    She starts by telling me she
    inherited the bar from her dad,
    Max Sewell,
    the same Max Sewell who ran
    the electrical company and owned
    nearly half the city.
    Her mother died when she was 14.
    The guy got the chair,
    but it did little to bring back her mom.
    So, her dad gave her the bar as her
    23rd birthday present,
    thinking it would be a great distraction.

    “You see all types,” she says,
    and she dips a pint glass into the
    sanitizer water.
    Some twenty years ago,
    she noticed one corner of the bar
    was shadowed over every Friday night.
    There was a magnetism hidden
    under the dark brim of a
    black cowboy hat.
    She was scared at first to
    refill his whisky,
    even though she couldn’t believe
    how stereotypical it was,
    and she couldn’t remember filling
    his glass in the first place.
    It wasn’t until he looked up at her and
    her eyes met his
    that she realized she made a mistake.

    Contrite and contrary,
    she folder up into his
    She didn’t know his name,
    she didn’t care to,
    she just wanted to
    be his whisky chaser.

    The bar closes at 2:00.
    The time is 1:50.
    My wife would be worried.

    The bell above the door rings
    and Jacky looks up,
    then down.

    She walked over to him one night
    as the bar stools dangled
    helplessly from the bar
    and chairs
    built artifact forests.
    She tells me he said one
    but it was the only word he needed.

    I try to imagine Jacky as a young woman.
    I can find traces of hips and waist.
    I can see the deep blue eyes and
    plump red lips;
    and for a moment I forget that
    she is a bartender and is a
    kind and successful
    with a book of secrets, that she
    would rather throw into a furnace
    than read over again,
    and a parchment of desires.
    I wonder if she chose to smell like
    beer and drunken declarations of love
    after the doors are locked, or if she
    wished she could smell like
    lavender and
    pot roast.

    “I ain’t going to tell you what
    happened next, only that I have never
    been in a gentleman’s arms again.”
    She said she never married.
    She said he never said another
    word, never promised anything,
    never made a sound as he left her
    with a cloud kiss on her forehead and a
    full pot of coffee and his
    lingering scent of

    She looks up to the
    corner where he sat.
    “I keep thinking one of these
    days he’s going to stop running
    and walk back to that corner,”
    which I notice, for the first
    time, just how empty that
    corner is.

    I reach out and grab her
    arm to give it a squeeze and
    she pats my hand.
    “You’re a good man,” she tells me
    and her eyes glisten. “Now get home
    to your wife.
    You’ve listened to an old woman
    prattle on long enough.”
    I stand up, pay my bill, and
    There’s one car left in the parking lot
    when I leave, and I know
    Jacky doesn’t drive.

  2. phoenix_tears21

    She’s On The Run

    In the car she stares out into the dark night,
    Wondering what she did so wrong.
    Her two kids in the house full of fright,
    Wondering what’s taking her so long.

    The car gets put in drive and a tear falls from her eye,
    Saying he’s waiting for me on the other side.
    Why is mommy leaving she didn’t even say bye?
    They yell please take us with you for a ride.

    She’s going too fast the brakes won’t work,
    Oncoming headlights and she begins to swerve.
    The lights flash and her body begins to jerk,
    Losing their parents is something they didn’t deserve.

    The night is full of pain and fresh fallen rain,
    Mommy is back in her car again.

  3. bxpoetlover

    On the Loose

    I unhook my brassiere every night
    let my breasts fall naturally.
    I may fall in love with their freedom
    and keep them unleashed
    during the day.

  4. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by juanita lewison-snyder

    up until now
    i had never run from a fight
    as miles of scars can attest,
    but recent events have become
    a game changer, swapping
    courage for in trepidation,
    band of gold for bat of aluminum
    blood for champagne
    and an old dear friend
    named asphalt.

    © 2013 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  5. Michelle Hed

    Spilt Milk Whimsy

    My cup tipped over
    and across it ran
    through the crack
    and over the lip
    drip, drip, drip.

    My pants were wet
    my shirt was too
    but I wiped it up
    and finished my milk
    sip, sip, sip.

    There was nothing to do
    but go back to work.
    To help my clothes dry
    I decided to
    skip, skip, skip.

  6. AcCarter

    Legs pumping
    muscles and sinews
    move over bone
    propelling her body forward.
    Blood thunders in her ears
    she sees nothing but the target ahead.
    Driven by instinct alone
    she hunts
    not for herself
    but three little ones alone.

    Springing forward
    flying if only for a moment
    she snags her prey.
    As her teeth close over his throat
    for a moment their hearts beat loud as one
    before he stills.
    Not moving
    To herself, cheetah smiles
    another job well done.

  7. Never2L8

    How lovely this is. I’ve watched also and related to the third stanza but I don’t think I ever bothered (wish I had) to wonder about their lives. I love this.

  8. priyajane

    She walked slowly, deliberately, with
    a plastered smile on a perfect frame
    Beautiful pearls, tightly wound round her neck
    encroached on her light heartedness
    and, throbbing grains of sand
    billowed in the corners of her eyes
    And, just like that!
    they break loose,
    burst open, free,
    on the run, wild, flying!
    before gravity took over
    scattering them, to reconfigure
    as they were hurriedly handcuffed
    Maybe some lucky ones
    would find a secret hiding place
    away from the ocean bed
    to glow in the dark–

      1. julie e.

        Thank you! I just read the memoir “chanel bonfire” about the author’s childhood with a crazily narcissistic mother. I love that stuff having “come from crazy” myself. It inspired this.

  9. seingraham


    I am winter
    on the wane
    wishing to
    wear on,
    linger on
    the lawn
    Keep spring
    from surging
    but she
    is singing
    from the sky
    With every
    friendly fibre
    of her
    flowery face
    She has loosed
    her bonds
    and is
    dancing madly
    Moving me over
    with a solid
    of her
    spring-sprung hips
    I will slink
    off now,
    content to wait
    for next year
    after all.

  10. taylor graham


    Short in the shin but tough in the shank, legs are meant
    for marching, up-and-downing, out of the chair and down
    the steps, over rocks and through the woods, leap the puddle,
    climb the peak, one foot before the other. Meadow dance
    and to the lake, the view; at noon-break, pulling off boots
    and socks, letting toes and arches float on cold clear water.
    Then on the trail again, one foot before the other gets me
    where the eye can see. Legs are meant for adventuring.

  11. RJ Clarken

    A Mind, Racing

    “All dreamers are on the run.” ~Julian Casablancas

    I think I’m lucid. But
    I am dreaming…dreaming….
    I can say this because
    my thoughts are racing through
    a course not yet charted:
    I don’t know the arc yet.

    But on some distant day,
    I shall understand it.
    (Or so I tell myself.)
    Still, the journey is what
    the story’s all about;
    the speed is relative.


  12. Lynn Burton

    Rewriting Wednesday

    Wait for me to rewrite
    the parts we haven’t written yet,
    to fill the well that’s run dry.
    Take my hand when I reach for you
    and we point toward today,
    scatter new memories on the loose,
    leaving behind promises gone cold,
    untraceable pasts.

  13. foodpoet

    Run, if you can

    Look into the mirror of lies
    You will see beneath the façade
    And know the passing of joy
    Into the reality of life with aging and
    I will whisper that you are beautiful
    If only you will obey and destroy what
    Should be kept dear.

    And when the heart is silent, you alone
    Will walk with mirror and lies and

  14. Glory

    Time For Courage

    No matter where you are, how low you feel,
    there comes a time when you reveal
    the pain, the tears that you’ve held close,
    afraid, yes, scared to speak, to oppose.

    Along comes courage, fine and true,
    stands tall, stands straight, at the side of you,
    ‘til between the rising of the morning sun,
    and sooner than the fading crescent moon,

    that ‘won’t wait minute’ suddenly appears
    and brings new life, and with it,

    no more fears.

  15. deringer1


    the world said there were rules
    and she kept them.

    the church said she couldn’t do that
    and she didn’t.

    her husband said she must live for his desires
    and she did.

    then one day gates were opened,
    the locks on her existance cast aside.

    upon the stage of freedom she strode,
    declaiming words that set her spirit free

    and a soul was loosed upon the world.

  16. PressOn

    The site must be busy today. I had time to compose something in between notices:

    “Posting too quickly. Slow down.”

    My comment is only one word.

    “Posting too quickly. Slow down.”

    O.K., but this is absurd.

    “Posting too quickly. Slow down.”

    I heard you, I heard you, I heard you.

    “Posting too quickly. Slow down.”

    I’m waiting for you. Are you through?

    “Posting too quickly. Slow down.”

    My smile is becoming a frown.

    “Posting too quickly. Slow down.”

    One more time. I must go to town.

    “Posting too quickly. Slow down.”

      1. Never2L8

        Me too, today as a matter of fact. It just sounds so bossy. Maybe they could change it to – That is a terrific comment you are making, give me a moment to just adore it then it will show up if you’ll try again in a few seconds. Oh, please, try again.”

  17. Connie Peters

    Fleeing the Rat Race

    On the run
    Cool breeze, shimmering sun
    Leafy trees shelter a rugged trail

    Feet pound up the hill, muscles strive, sweet air inhale
    Arms chugging in constant rhythm, breathe out the stale

    Leaving stress, strife, tension far behind
    Inner coils unwind
    Peace defined

    1. PressOn

      This lovely little piece looks like that Trois-par-Huit form I learned of recently. Even a couch person like me loves them, the form and your poem both.

  18. Lindy

    Gold Medal Gymnast

    Flitting and flying
    and charging the air,
    chasing behind him
    that thing with the hair.
    Jumping and missing
    or sliding a dare,
    the gold medal gymnast
    of my office chair.
    He’s goading the dog
    without troubled care,
    our furball’s on the loose –
    of the SpazCat beware!

  19. JWLaviguer

    On the Run

    Running jumping laughing
    I haven’t felt this free in a long time
    but I know its just a dream
    from which I have to wake
    laying here
    in a pool
    of my own sweat
    a broken man
    a prisoner of my body
    can’t move can’t speak
    but I can think and I can dream
    please someone release me
    read my mind and pull that plug

    1. PressOn

      Very haunting; reminds me of someone I knew who had Lou Gehrig’s disease. “I can think and I can dream” sums up the horror of that disease. Effective job.

  20. LouiseBilborough

    even when the shackles
    are loosed
    and permission to roam
    is granted
    it is not so easy
    to set the mind free

    constraints and limitations
    scrubbed out
    the rules striken

    fear remains

    what if my thoughts
    are too big
    or too small

    what if my expecations
    are too high
    or too low

    what if my dreams
    are too fanciful
    or too humdrum

    what if my words
    are too plain
    or too purple

    fear remains

    what if I
    am too much
    or too little

    1. ewdupler

      I liked the summary at the beginning that was followed by the lingering doubt that continues to haunt. It’s an all too familiar feeling I think we’ve all shared at some point or another.

  21. Sara McNulty

    Distance From Myself

    At eighteen, I left my
    self in one state, moved
    to another. When I arrived–
    surprise, surprise–my self
    had followed me.

    No one back home could know
    the misery of my marriage,
    for they had all warned me.
    I stayed, and we moved
    to yet another state,
    dictated by the Air Force.
    Fresh start. I’d show them.
    But when I unpacked,
    there was my self, again.

    Along life’s twisted path,
    many years later, my self
    and I reconciled.

    1. elishevasmom

      Beautifully written! It seems that no matter how fast or far I ran, my self was always waiting, tapping my foot w/ arms crossed over chest…

  22. ewdupler

    First You Walk

    A nervous check-in
    after a long line,
    earns me a number.
    Muscles are warmed up,
    laces wrapped tightly,
    so stretching begins.

    Five kilometers:
    only a few miles.
    People are packed in.
    I feel like a sardine
    compressed in a can,
    waiting to explode.

    My first race begins
    as I barely walk
    until the crowd thins.
    Hypnotic rhythm
    brings realization:
    I am on the run.

  23. PoM

    The poet on the run
    Up until two hours ago
    Writing this prompt was fun
    Timing is everything
    Every second counts
    Yank the plug fast
    Flip the keyboard on the dash
    B-line for the bath
    Got to get a towel fast
    Grab the hair dryer
    On the way back
    My keyboard’s drowning
    Taking a caffeine bath
    Dam It all if I lose this draft
    Electronic CPR this key’s DOA
    May that one rest in peace
    Thank god for spears
    Think I’ll change the theme
    Must poetize this scene

  24. Never2L8


    Running smooth and lazy
    Round the bend it forks in
    Respect to the island
    Reposing there mid-stream,
    Re-gathers itself to
    Rage over boulders and
    Rocks in riotous bliss.

      1. Never2L8

        Thanks, foodpoet is right it is pleaides. My internet has been down for three days and this is the first chance I’ve had to get back.

  25. priyajane

    Off she goes on her daily run
    Tightly bound feet
    and shaky nerves
    a rhythm of her own
    Her burdened arms
    weightless and free
    Her frightened spirit
    on the loose
    Invincible, round the bend
    conquering the mountains
    and gliding downhill steadily
    All the way back,- to reality

  26. Yolee


    is on the loose running wild
    thru tall grasses of the mind. It is barefoot,
    and the ground is wet. The air is an iron
    turned to almost high. Memory is a 19
    year old thin girl dressed in green
    and in love for the first time
    with an uncatchable
    mid-spring heat.

  27. Amy

    On the Run

    These psychedelic sounds
    have run aground
    for a transcendent moment
    as my mind is pulled
    right, then left,
    then right again
    like taffy, it bends
    around reality
    I close my eyes to
    savor electric melodies
    my thoughts are
    on the run
    chasing after the
    elusive Dark Side

        1. ewdupler

          That last line led me to what was either going to be a Dark Side of the Moon, or a Star Wars reference. The feeling and rhythm of the words when I speak the poem remind me of the pace of Comfortably Numb, so I definitely see the Floyd influence. Besides, not too many Jedi seem to explore the psychedelic side :)

          Nicely done poem.

  28. Nancy Posey

    On the Run

    Begin with the end in mind—
    so trite, of course, but true.
    Don’t think of the uphill turn
    where you always want to stop
    and walk. Concentrate instead
    on the inevitable rush, home
    just coming into view, breeze
    stirring the air as if on demand.
    Ignore the infernal whining
    of your legs. Remind them
    they must carry you, fast
    or slow, the same distance.
    They can be done sooner
    or later. Pay attention to dog,
    cooing endearments, never
    curses. They’ll know you soon.
    Note the flowering trees,
    pregnant with blooms. Plan
    now to drive back by later
    with your camera. Stopping
    to smell the roses now
    is ill-advised. Neighbors
    expect you to wave, no more.
    Even the sedentary admire
    your spunk , however grudgingly.
    Run with a song in your head
    or even a story. Promise yourself
    once you reach home you’ll
    write it down, every word.

  29. Jane Shlensky

    True Fictions

    Why would a woman who loves truth marry
    into pure fiction? She squints watching him
    spin details of his story, sees his eyes
    flit upward catching tails of tales in flight.

    He’s lying with such zeal, as if it’s true;
    he can’t think that it’s harming anyone.
    She tries to teach him not to promise much:
    a promise undelivered is a lie—

    or worse, a thoughtless blathering, a plan
    that was forgotten as it left his mouth,
    but he thinks others surely understand.
    “My boy thinks I’m a wonder of a man!”

    She’s lost her sense of humor, sadly, now.
    She tells him, “You can run but you can’t hide,”
    but he just shakes his head and argues that.
    Of course you can, run and hide in plain sight.

    “Some of your lies will soon come home to roost,”
    she says, for clichés often comfort her:
    if they are true, who cares how oft they’re said?
    “You don’t want him to wonder over-much.”

    But he likes bright invention, twists and turns,
    suspense and characters, unlikely ends.
    His fictions are like him, not on the run,
    but running loose like horses un-corralled.

    His words flow unrestricted, wild and free,
    telling his son such stories as might be.
    He likes to think that fathering is fun,
    as long as he’s excused from being one.

  30. Jane Shlensky


    Some teachers always hope for chilly springs,
    for sweater/jacket weather, pants and boots,
    our students bundled in layers of things
    so they can concentrate like new recruits.

    Some teachers set the prom April or May
    so girls in strapless dresses will be warm,
    postponing reassessment ‘til the day
    when they uncover all their youthful charm.

    It’s true that young men’s fancies turn to love,
    (away from final papers and exams),
    that young ladies show what they are made of;
    the first hot spell of spring just body slams

    whatever time remains of the school year.
    As body parts emerge from winter growth,
    lessons retreat, and fascinations veer
    to rising sap or birds and bees, or both.

    Some teachers watch and see a losing fight
    against teenagers’ hormones on the loose.
    Lessons must draw on senses, taste and sight,
    for school is done. It’s time to pen a truce.

    Although they may not learn at later date
    about a text, an author, or a skill,
    social experiments proliferate:
    they’re on the loose and choosing—or they will.

  31. Jane Shlensky

    The Effect of Sugar on Small Children

    She has a date in minutes—
    soon she’s gone,
    but she wants to be nice
    to sleepy kids.

    She jokes with them
    and gives them chocolate,
    knowing her sister
    babysits tonight.

    In minutes, they are wild—
    spinning and loud,
    chanting for more,
    for movies, colas, snacks.

    But she is on the run,
    somewhat afraid;
    they’re on the loose,
    her sister bound and flayed.

    1. PressOn

      This makes me wonder how well she likes her sister. Your rhyme in the last stanza accentuates the whole poem, it seems to me. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks.

  32. Walt Wojtanik


    Two front teeth
    permanently altered
    and Walter’s smile is askew.
    It was hard to chew when salad dressing
    met raw nerve. I swerved into more pain
    than a kid needed, mouth bleeding
    and spitting Chiclets into a stone encrusted hand.
    It was enough I could stand on the bicycle
    but taking that turn on gravel cost me.
    And after a jaw breaker to the mouth, I lost me
    another tooth. The truth is my smile still isn’t right.

  33. mikeMaher

    The Rope Was Not Thrown

    We couldn’t tell if it was the writer or the translator
    who was the talented one,
    or if Trond was lying about not stealing those horses.
    Of course I know there are metaphors.
    Any schlub can see that.
    Perhaps it would all be different if
    that blubbering idiot had stayed quiet in the bottom of the boat,
    not stumbling onto shore,
    dropping to his knees
    in the water as the bullets ripped through him.
    But every story needs a little blood, a blown up bridge!
    And disappearing into the forest!
    There is much to flee from,
    many reasons to stay around,
    Basquiat beckoning you to New York,
    Warhol saying just 15 more minutes,
    the man from the boat saying I knew this would happen.
    King says do whatever you want
    just stop being so damn passive about it.
    This is all so exhausting,
    the fleeing and staying,
    my thoughts comets and my feet glaciers,
    my life being narrated to me by a voice I don’t recognize,
    all the sounds when the voice stops.

    1. PressOn

      Harry likely hastened by,
      his eyes placed high up in the sky,
      never seeing the flower there
      and not much else, anywhere.

      Please pardon my intrusion on your well-done shadorma (and the apt name, Harry), but the lines just were there.

  34. JWLaviguer

    On the run from myself
    hiding in the dark corners
    of my soul
    laughing out of fear
    crying out of joy
    to be found
    found out
    for who
    or what
    I have become
    I can no longer see
    and yet I see all
    visions of a future
    still be be written
    nightmares of a past
    desperate to forget
    on the loose
    and locked inside
    my own mind

  35. De Jackson

    Grace, Escaped

    Let’s loose it
    to the lost, lose
    our inhibitions
    and the cost of
    deeming ourselves un
    -worthy of making change.

    Let’s paint it
    on the sky, spread
    forgiveness wings
    and fly, sing free of
    second chances and how
    far east might be from

    Let’s shine it
    in the dark, hold
    out open hands and spark
    the world into knowing
    as it spills and spatters –
    we’re all broken, and we matter.


  36. taylor graham


    We come here once a week, Tuesday at two.
    On the loose for one short hour, we find
    the place deserted except for us few
    who spread out books and papers, image twined
    with rhyme. Long, vacant tables start to fill
    with friends unseen. Here are Keats, Hopkins, Frost
    alive on living tongues. The bright words spill,
    a verse-ship steady on the ocean tossed.
    How did they do it? Passion rigged to craft.
    The blank white page, a world uncharted: free
    and fearsome. Here’s a stanza like a raft,
    with just three stars to guide across the sea.
    We’ll push against the edges, find our form:
    a poem, schooner that contains the storm.

    1. PressOn

      Ooooh. That’s exactly what I said as I read this. I love “stanza like a raft,” and your schooner recalls Dickinson’s frigate. Superb stuff.

    2. De Jackson

      Ohhhhh. I soooo want to come. This is fantastic, taylor. This last stanza is a stunner:

      “Here’s a stanza like a raft,
      with just three stars to guide across the sea.
      We’ll push against the edges, find our form:
      a poem, schooner that contains the storm.”

  37. elishevasmom

    The Muse is Loose!

    The Muse is loose!
    Loose inside my mind!
    She dropped in for one of those
    surprise visits – just
    daring me not to jump
    at her every beck and call.
    Kicking up a maelstrom of
    ideas, like an f-5
    tornado, like the one that
    transported Dorothy
    to Oz.
    Thoughts, suppositions, pieces
    of phrases, similes,
    metaphors, all-the-while
    dodging cliches, just
    to spice things up.
    And the worst of it is,
    when she gets turned loose
    like this, even typing
    it as fast as I can,
    it starts to fall away,
    like that big sand castle
    I made at the beach when
    high tide came in.
    Even as she’s doing to me
    right now.
    And yeah, she’s loose,
    because I can’t reign
    her in long enough
    to let me finish.
    I look around, see the
    wreckage strewn about,
    random apostrophes forced
    in front of random es-es,
    typos going un-type-checked…

    Maybe I need to get
    one of those voice-activated
    recorders, so I’ll
    have a better chance of
    getting the draw
    bridge up in time.

    Ellen Knight 5.15.13
    (write an on the run, or on the loose poem)

  38. JWLaviguer

    On The Loose

    My fingers are on the loose
    moving faster than my brain can think
    typing things I do not mean
    their coming up with it from somewhere
    could be my subconscious thoughts
    like swallows chirping in the shadows
    flitting here and flying there
    don’t stop to think just let it flow
    like 10,000 monkeys
    let’s see what we come up with.

    1. PressOn

      I’m smiling; I can’t type. Your 10,000 monkeys, though, recall for me the “Monkey Mind” idea of Natalie Goldberg’s, with whom I had writing classes years ago. Her basic notion was that one keeps the pen moving so as to shut up Monkey Mind and thence help the writing process to happen. Your typing sounds like the same thing.

        1. elishevasmom

          I read this before I went out, and while walking along, I began thinking of “monkey money”, what we used to call the mica in fresh asphalt as kids. It wasn’t until I got home, and catching up on the group, that I realized where the ‘monkey’ in my mind came from:)

  39. dextrousdigits

    The List
    of patients numbered by priority
    The Charge nurses, doctors, added
    important to check with each
    as they are the authority.
    Running at high speed is a necessity
    but, since Carol called in sick
    and the computers are down,
    I’m getting testy.

    A thirty seven year old mother
    of two young children
    lies struggling for breath,
    pale, so little muscle left
    she has bones covered in Saran Wrap skin
    The morphine drip can’t keep up with her pain.
    Yet, she smiles at me
    her words at snail pace are
    “today is a good day,
    I saw my children
    my husband held my hand
    a long time while he
    reminded me of treasured moments.
    I was able to swallow
    and keep down soup.
    Now, you my friend are here.
    I am so blessed”

    It was impossible
    to keep the tears
    from running down my cheeks
    as I held her hand.
    I moved her arms and legs
    gently, with profound care
    as if carrying my newborn child.
    Before I leave as at all times,
    I give her a hug and kiss her cheek
    and reminder her,
    she is dearly loved.

    I walk out of her room
    down the hall,
    down the stairs
    out of the hospital.
    Walk for blocks
    around the neighborhood
    looking at houses, trees, flowers
    watching cars, people
    being so happy and grateful
    to be alive, so alive,
    aware of my very cells singing with joy.
    No it wasn’t on my list,
    but the most import priorities
    often aren’t

    1. PressOn

      Drat! Goofed again. This is what I meant:

      plunged, plunged, and plunged,
      splashing smelly water,
      but now the drain is on the run
      at last.

      1. dextrousdigits

        been there done that,
        whether plunged or plunger
        the same unpleasant task,
        but now I may actually look at it differently
        because of your poem and knowing I’m not the only one.

  40. PressOn


    From the furor of the sky
    in a nervous tic of time,
    rocky grains erupted flame
    then settled down to die.

    Every hurtling burst of dust
    was brighter than the stars,
    as nascent life-forms slashed the night
    with flashes of alarm.

    For hours I watched the diamond streaks
    as life gave way to death;
    then, suddenly cold, I had to go
    to hearth, and warmth, and rest.

    I wonder what their lives were like
    before they hit the sky.
    Were they cold also? I’ll never know;
    I only saw them die.