Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 225

I’ve been busy this week taking a vacation to volunteer with day camp. So I’ve been leading around a bunch of 9-year-old Cub Scouts for 8 hours each day. It’s been a lot of work–but also a lot of fun.

For this week’s prompt, write a poem about a challenging situation. Maybe it’s getting 11 9-year-old boys to walk in a straight line (not that I would have any experience with that), or maybe it’s trying to capture an image in a poem (not that I’d have any experience with that either). Can be your challenging situation–or that of another person you know. Anything goes.

Here’s my attempt:


When he was born, he couldn’t swallow formula
and breathe at the same time. There were times
he would flat line when he tried, and then I knew
how a man could go from his happiest moment
to his most miserable in an instant. Something
I take for granted, a matter of life and death.


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137 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 225

  1. GypsySue


    Each day she longs
    to just belong
    The world’s so far away….

    Each morning that rises
    hoping there’ll be no crises
    Smiles… inside dismay….

    Each step filled with pain
    cast like falling rain
    Inner will has given out today….

  2. Domino


    I tied my yellow ribbon on
    I’ll wait forever if I must
    You were to be back; still you’re gone
    I tied my yellow ribbon on
    And now they’ve sent you to Iran
    My empty heart must readjust
    Retied my yellow ribbon on
    I’ll wait forever if I must

    Diana Terrill Clark

  3. Bruce Niedt


    Baby girl,
    just by dropping into our world
    you’ve created a mom and dad,
    three grandparents,
    four uncles and an aunt.

    The challenge will be
    how to bring you up right
    without spoiling you,
    little apple of all our eyes.

  4. veronica_gurlie

    It slipped into the small pocket of her jeans, like it had no bones,
    and it was soft as a pillow made of jello,
    It was light, right from the the beginning to the end of it.
    I remember, when people was close enough to notice it, she wouldn’t take it out
    just like people don’t with their secrets, unless they have no choice.
    they called it, ” the hand with no thumb”
    I remember, that’s what made her famous in the house,
    the precious little, dainty little, delicate little– hand,
    a hand with a gracefulness, nothing else could have.
    I would at any time,
    kiss the tiny x shaped scar where the thumb should be– (and never was)
    and give the “no worry” smile.
    I remember, this is how we were sisters,
    something familiar becoming strange in the universe, when this just stopped,
    something turning us, hard against each other,
    like solid rock against solid rock,
    I remember, “the hand” became, just “a hand”
    and when it all it took,
    was one glimpse into her eyes- like tornadoes of ocean floor,
    and everything would be twisted around her
    and there would be nothing she couldn’t get open anymore on her own.

    I haven’t seen or kissed her hand since, not even once.

  5. foodpoet

    When every day
    is a challenge
    just to get out of bed
    courage is getting up
    putting a work face on
    struggling against me now bosses
    and memory collapse erosion
    The covers off

  6. james.ticknor

    The Hardest Challenge

    The hardest thing to do
    Is telling a loved one ‘no’
    It could happen to you
    Even sooner than you know

    It’s not that you don’t care
    It’s the other way around
    It’s to keep the love that’s there
    And build it from the ground

    Because a house built on sand
    Will surely end up faltered
    So in order to make it stand
    The future must be altered

    If you want to make it through
    There’s choices you must make
    And do what you need to do
    At least for your own sake

    But try to attempt to keep
    The love that is still there
    Sow the seed right to reap
    Reward along with care

    Grow from what happens today
    And always continue to try
    But you must follow your own way
    And love will never die

    If it is true and if it’s right
    Build your home with pride
    They will stay within sight
    And never leave your side

  7. deringer1

    Old Woman’s Challenge

    old woman woke.
    outside the moon was watching
    but there was no one there
    inside her head and no one in her bed.

    terror was there but
    old woman grasped it and held it down as
    terror growled and showed teeth.
    old woman knew what to do
    for even though
    inside old woman’s head it was murky
    inside her heart there was courage.

    she stared at terror until it whimpered
    and backed away, so
    old woman went out into the night
    where the moon was bright
    to show her the way.

    then she offered up the treasure
    she had found in her heart
    to purchase wisdom.

    it was enough.
    old woman found someone to help.
    moon shone brightly into her room
    and made terror shrink and flee.

    then moon smiled because
    old woman with brave heart
    knew where to find love
    and there was another day.

  8. PoM


    Life’s a challenge in O so many ways.
    At times I feel I cannot go on, one more day.
    Don’t want to go on, felling this way.
    Living in pain every day.
    The feeling I’m lost,
    will never find my way.
    Wondering what my purpose is.
    Wasting time, uselessly away.
    Trying to write this novel,
    with words I don’t know how to say.

    Life’s a challenge in o so many ways.
    I long for the simpler, older days.
    I was young and strong, adventurous,
    vibrant in O so many ways.
    Now I just feel so useless,
    in my late, middle old age.
    I’ve changed so much,
    Seems I’ve grown out of touch.
    Lost my way, this past decade,
    of this new millennium age.

    Life is precious in every way.
    Each creature special,
    in their own unique way.
    Life’s such a challenge sometimes.
    When the light is seems,
    Will not shine our way.
    Though we’re never in darkness,
    it just sometimes seems that way.
    I’m just older now,
    And see the world, in a different way.

    But God I know without a doubt,
    has always been with me,
    And guided me, each and every,
    step of the way.
    Yes even faith sometimes,
    is a challenge to maintain.
    So yes it’s true.
    Life’s a challenge in many ways
    But it’s also a very special gift that,
    we should cherish, each, and every day.

  9. Connie Peters

    Passing on a Mountain Road

    Descending from 10,000 feet.
    Approaching a motor scooter going about 10 mph.
    Hitting the gas.
    No passing zone.
    No time to dart back behind him.
    Here we go! Suck in your fenders!
    Remembering the streets of Johnstown, PA,
    less room than what I have here,
    and they drive that way all the time.
    Cars coming up will give me room
    if they don’t want to be scrunched.
    About got it.
    Another turn.
    Car coming head-on
    Time to tuck back in.
    We’re fine.
    A quick look in the rearview reveals
    the hair of the two ladies in the backseat
    just turned a shade grayer.

    1. PressOn

      I thoroughly enjoyed this, so much so that I recalled an old story and tried to versify it. I hope you don’t mind:


      A trucker on a mountain road
      who pulls, behind, a heavy load
      has come upon a hairpin curve.
      A car is coming. He dare not swerve,
      The highway’s lip is to his right
      and, on his left, the stony bight;
      this spot upon the highway’s run
      leaves space enough for only one.
      A crash is surely imminent:
      he reaches for his liniment
      and wakes his partner. Why, you ask,
      should he perform that final task?
      I met him once; I asked him why,
      and this was his exact reply:
      “To let him sleep would be remiss;
      he’s never seen a wreck like this.”

  10. Nancy Posey

    While my (grown) daughter has been chaperoning a summer camp, all three of her little ones have been here with me at. . .

    Camp Nana

    It was bound to happen soon enough;
    I’d be saying those things old folks say:
    I know why God gave little kids
    to the young. Not so old myself,
    by my theory of relativity, not Einstein’s,
    I find I’d grown accustomed
    to the day-to-day rhythm of my nest,
    our birds all flown and grown.

    What I handled with grace before,
    if not with ease—three wee ones,
    from two to seven—now takes more
    energy, more time, more apple juice
    and snacks. After wrestling them
    to bed, I find myself wound up
    too tight to fall asleep myself.

    Next week, they’ll be back at home,
    going through their own paces
    with their own toys, to structure
    more familiar, books they’ve read,
    puzzles they can solve with ease,
    and I’ll have time for a nap or book.
    On a whim, I’ll run to the store,
    no straps to fasten and unfasten,
    no hands to hold while crossing streets,
    and feel that tender tug of love
    from miles and miles away from here.

    1. PressOn

      This is great. Reminds me of a story a physician friend likes to tell. He built his career whilst his wife, essentially, raised the kids. Now the kids have kids, and sometimes the grandparents have to have “Camp Nana.” My friend likes to tell how, after one “camp.” he was pooped and asked his wife, “How did we ever raise four kids?” Her reply was, “WE didn’t.”

  11. bxpoetlover

    Pedagogy of the Oppressed

    I awakened at 5 a.m. It is summer vacation.
    I was angry yet relieved that
    I could roll over and go back to sleep.
    I do not.

    I know my ancestors must be angry that I call the system a plantation
    I do not rise at the crack of dawn to pick cotton, chop sugar cane, gather rice, be whipped, or raped. My son sleeps peacefully on his break from college.

    I can read and own books. I write. Own my living space.
    I have a master’s degree, am earning a second.
    I have a regular paycheck, health insurance, nutritious food, freedom
    to worship, listen to music, and vote for now.
    May not be for long, thanks to the Supreme Court.

    I am subject to the whims of the corporate model that sets policy and objectifies.
    My students.
    They are now customers.
    Their work, artifacts or work products.
    The system only cares how many pass Regents, not that I got a boy
    who never read a book in high school to read five. And like two.

    I am asked for my opinion, then ignored or excoriated.
    I am silent; deemed sullen.
    Compliant; motives suspected.
    Should we teach English and history in the same class at the same time?
    Too many nuances.
    Do it anyway.
    You will be trained.
    Do it for a week.
    Since you will not sign a petition to oust your union leader or spy on him,I will
    make the two of you teach in the same room at the same time for a week,
    observe you and your colleague and give your lesson a U.
    Don’t like it, leave.
    I did.
    Three years later, April 1.
    You are too hard on the kids. Grammar and spelling don’t matter. They say you don’t like them.
    Have you observed my class? No, but I talk to the kids all the time.

    One administrator is supposed to come. We get along. So another is chosen to come and see.
    Weeks pass.
    Can I have my report?
    Yes, you’ll get it.
    When? Was it satisfactory?
    Don’t worry.
    Two harrowing interviews and a successful one. I have a job.
    I heard you’re leaving.
    You will now have an “S”.

    Three years of freedom to wrangle with reluctance to read and write.
    Folders of victories. Poems, personal stories, essays and research papers.
    Some good, many not, but most done.
    Graduations. Visits, thanks, and testimonials on Facebook.

    Low attendance, avoidance, poor effort, low scores.
    Let us revisit your curriculum. Do excerpts of books instead. Or Read 180.
    We need 90 minute blocks and only have hour long periods.
    Students need to strategies to navigate difficult texts. How will they succeed in college?

    Well, we don’t have the answers. Let us bring in someone from Australia to train your department.

    They have a great history of multiculturalism there. Ask the Uluru.

    Only a fragment of me is still here
    a modicum of intelligence or creativity because in the end
    it is all about credits and graduation rates.

    In my city 75 percent need remediation for college.
    Guess who has a finger in her face.

    1. Cin5456

      This is wonderful. What a challenge! You’ve captured the quintessential challenge in education. It’s dreadfully unfair, but there it is. If this is you, not a speaker, I feel for you deeply. If this is your speaker, you know the situation better than most could even imagine. Thank you for speaking your mind.

  12. PowerUnit

    I am challenged every time
    I sit to write
    Even moreso when
    I sit to edit

    How do I re-immurse myself into my story?
    Into this world that exists only in my mind
    That likes to hide in the dark corners
    And roam the back halls

    My words are not my world
    They are hen scratchings
    On a dirt yard
    Crawing with bugs and filled with shit

    How do I find the magic world
    I know really exists there
    That only I can see?

    1. PressOn

      This is a fascinating piece. The words are not the world, but seem to be the key to it, somehow. Or so it seems to me. Thanks for sharing this wonderful work.

  13. Schrodingers cat


    I remember fondly those days now gone.
    Of picking you up, and bringing you home.
    Things were brand new, and we’re together.
    Of hooking up, and all the fun we had.
    The good, the bad, the happy, the sad,
    of all that you brought into my life.

    Every day, all day you were there without fail.
    A world unto its own, enriching and unwavering.
    Every time your near, I think of you.
    All my waking hours, I push all your buttons,
    every way I see fit.
    I just want to know one thing,
    How to get the 12:00 off from you, my VCR?

      1. Schrodingers cat

        I wanted to do this in a mix of Old, Middle, and Modern English, but so few people would have been able to read let alone understand it.
        This is a poem for those that remember when the VCR first became very popular….most of the younger readers may not remember the flashing 12:00 if it wasn’t set, but I remember it all too well, not so much for me, but almost every one I knew…..even now my parents vcr still flashes (they live in the country and are vulnerable to power outages, so about every time I went over I had to reset it…)
        This doesn’t even include my friends and other family….plus setting their wrist watches, as needed.

  14. Julieann

    I’ve tried a senryu to express my personal challenges to today’s society’s challenges.

    Challenges – Personal vs. Societal

    Throughout the ages
    We are taught what’s right and what’s wrong
    Supreme Court says “no”

  15. Jane Shlensky


    I focus on the words I need to say
    about my mother; silently I pray
    to do this right, no tears of loss today.

    I think of random numbers as we sing
    “The Garden” so the words don’t grab and sting
    me into tears before my offering.

    I read the words I’ve written, meet the stares
    of those who honor her, who share my cares,
    and feel her spirit buoy me unawares.

    My tears are saved for later, for the grave,
    and we will read some poems that she gave,
    when she was teaching us that words can save.

    So many memories invade my thoughts
    making me reach for meanings seldom sought.
    I speak to use the lessons she has taught.

    I must control my chin, my lips, my eyes,
    my voice, my heart so I don’t compromise
    my tribute to a woman strong and wise. .

    For every moment I have been afraid,
    but summoned courage, held my ground, and stayed,
    I know I am the woman she has made;
    I know her life in me will never fade.

  16. danceswithhorses

    Walk through the hall
    Only her footsteps echo
    And down in the kitchen,
    Coffee for one.
    The silence is good,
    she tells herself that.
    No one to drive her crazy
    With all the noise that comes
    From sharing a house with someone else.
    No one fights over the remote,
    She can watch what she wants,
    When she wants to.
    Go to bed when she feels like it.
    Doesn’t have to cook if she doesn’t want to.
    It’s a nice life, a good life, a free life.
    She tells herself that every moment of every day…
    You can’t miss what you never had.
    But she does.

    1. seingraham

      So much said between the lines…a poignant, heartfelt piece…you’ve captured well the challenge of not missing what you’ve never had, making it sound so blissful while hinting at what’s to come by the end…skillfully done.

      1. danceswithhorses

        Thanks for your kind comments, guys. I really appreciate it…this poem came straight from my heart. All of you are wonderful for commenting!

  17. seingraham


    He is all fire; frantic and furious
    She is cool, midnight and starless
    He paws the ground, eyes wild
    She floats almost, her movements spare
    As if they are unaware of each other
    They edge together all the same
    The woman calm, unconcerned
    The horse, trembling, cautious but curious
    He walks unevenly towards the rail
    She leans against it casually, trails her hand
    Along the top, nonchalant, then
    Raises her eyes and gazes deliberately
    Into the animal’s, holds his glance as long
    As he’ll let her before, confused, he snorts
    But doesn’t buck, doesn’t pull back
    Simply lowers his head momentarily
    Before he raises his muzzle to her hand
    Brushes it softly, once, then again
    She moves her head closer to the fence
    Close enough for the horse to reach her face
    And edging forward, inch by inch
    He finally lays his great head against hers
    Lets her stroke his neck, murmur to him
    Calm him, soothe him, soothe, soothe
    She begins to breathe in time with the horse
    At the same time lowering his anxiety
    So soon his heart-rate is matching hers
    She asks nothing more from him than that
    He become calmer — that’s all, just settle
    It is what he wishes for himself if only he
    Knew it, but it doesn’t matter, it’s enough
    That she knows it and can help him get there.

    1. danceswithhorses

      As a horse trainer, I can appreciate the meaning behind this poem…as a writer, I can envy your way with words. Kudos to you on both counts.

      1. seingraham

        Thanks for your comment Julieann. I have a soft spot for you as we named our eldest daughter Julie. (Her middle name is Ann incidentally…funny how much synchronicity there is in the world, yes?)

  18. pmwanken

    In HIS Honor

    In the doorway
    where she stood,
    she knew she must be
    to her Creator.
    she still asked
    for the cup to pass.

    He had allowed the enemy
    to wreak havoc
    in his life;
    a blur
    of self-doubt
    altered his path

    and hers.

    With every piece
    of her broken heart,
    she spoke
    the truth in love.
    they cried;
    he had gotten
    a taste of regret.

    With His
    she had seen him.
    With His
    she had loved him.
    With His
    she said goodbye.

    P. Wanken

    1. danceswithhorses

      This is so beautiful…the last stanza is the most touching of all, well-written, emotional…it made me cry. It literally made me cry. Thank you for sharing it.

      1. pmwanken

        Thank you, PressOn…my emotions were still quite raw from this event which was on Monday, so I felt it when I was writing. Glad the words on the screen came across that way, as well.

  19. elishevasmom

    The Duel

    The day had been close,
    wearing the humidity
    like a wet wool coat.

    The gauntlet had been
    thrown down—just
    one time too many

    that the brothers had
    craved the same indulgence,
    feeling it was their due.

    When the war of words,
    the visceral vocalizations,
    rocked with ridicule,

    the articulated arrows
    of sneering slanguage
    missed their mark,

    it was decided.
    Each was assigned his weapon.
    Starting back-to-back,

    each stepped off twenty-five paces,
    turned, and then the Moderator
    called, “Fire at will!”

    As the red spread quickly
    on both white shirts, it was uncertain
    at first, who was the victor.

    The older twin (just by two
    minutes) had lost to his
    quieter brother.

    And the prize? Death.
    By Chocolate, that is,
    the last piece of their

    birthday cake. The weapons?
    Super soakers filled
    with cherry cool-aid.

    The real challenge was
    for Mom the Moderator,
    tasked with washing

    the cool-aid out of the two
    white tee shirts. She thought
    better of it, and had them framed.

    Ellen Knight 6.26.13
    write a “challenge” poem

  20. Iain Douglas Kemp

    The Fourth Term

    The school year ends with a sigh
    and a deep breath
    a pause
    a pause for thought
    a pause for a rest
    a time to reflect, consider the past
    the past nine months at least
    the highs and lows
    the successes and the not-so-well-dones
    the did-my-bests and the could-have-done-betters
    a brief respite to bask in the exam glory
    of la crème de la crème
    a few days of peace and quiet
    a few pints of good English ale
    a few mornings of waking up to birdsong
    instead of the alarm before sunrise
    and a time to look forward
    look forward to seeing old friends
    look forward to meeting new students
    look forward to returning to the dreaming spires
    Oxford beckons
    the hardest eight weeks of the year
    loom just a short breath hence
    the rigours of summer school
    the effort, the strain, the fatigue
    the knowledge that no matter how much
    you remind yourself of how hard summer school is
    it in no way prepares you for how hard summer school is
    and the challenge of
    The Fourth Term


  21. taylor graham

    for Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith

    You wake up again with a hangover
    of stars – fifteen you memorized last night
    by lantern-light. Again today you’ll
    spend eleven hours at the forge, objective
    world of iron and flame. Nothing
    academic about your learning, it’s mostly
    underground. A smith’s apprentice
    keeps his Greek grammar hidden
    in his hat; absorbs his Latin with a meager
    breakfast. Ad astra per aspera, star-
    maps hammered in your brain. You know
    the fiction of the boy who dares
    a monumental natural bridge, inch by inch,
    as each toe- and finger-hold he cuts
    erodes his knife-blade bit by bit
    away. Do you think, if you climb hard
    and high enough, you might
    recognize a familiar constellation
    by the unschooled light of day?

  22. pmwanken


    it is too much to ask of me
    she tells Him

    it’s not like saying no
    to the dainty cookie
    that tantalizes

    she reasons with Him

    forty days

    it’s too long–you don’t understand
    she pleads with Him

    let this not be what You ask of me
    her words ring in her head

    His words, now haunting her
    “… let this cup pass away from me.
    Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

    forty days…forty-six, really…

    not as I will, but as You will
    she cries

      1. pmwanken

        Thanks, Sharon — I actually wrote this (true story) poem before the Lenton season a couple years ago, but as soon as I read the prompt, this challenging situation came back to mind. As I’m looking at comments, now, I just realized I used the same “cup to pass” phrase in the new poem I wrote and posted, above. I guess this former challengeing event subconsiously worked its way into my new (true story) poem. Again — thanks.

  23. JRSimmang

    It Takes One

    From the nursery,
    the lantana was yellowed.
    Why we bought that one,
    is beyond me,
    but my wife was insistent
    that that be the one we take home.
    I wanted the one with the blooms.
    They create a berry
    before they create the flower;
    it’s inedible,
    but then again, so
    are a lot of things.

    In the midmorning,
    before the sun hits its zenith
    and boils over,
    she is there,
    her fingers slowly working
    the soil like a
    The plants grow in her footprints,
    making it easy for her to move.
    I sip my coffee and watch her

    So this lantana,
    blackened as it was,
    was probably perfect for her.
    She took it into her arms,
    a doting mother,
    not looking down at it,
    but straight forward,

    I dig her hole
    and she nods her assent.
    Good enough,
    she says,
    and smiles at me.

    I step back because I can’t
    watch her transform.
    My eyes cannot grasp her.

    every night,
    this thing,
    this lifeless twig,
    sees her.
    She comes out in the morning and once again for dinner.
    Every day
    she touches this root.
    She pours out onto it
    the only thing they have in common.

    Perhaps I’m naive.
    Perhaps I’m a cynic,
    but I’ve seen it before.
    The care given is
    not care reciprocated.

    But this lantana is different.
    She sweats,
    it sweats.
    She eats it in,
    and it grows more fruit.
    Her fingers worked raw,
    but before the summer hits,
    a single pink flower arrives overnight,
    headlights in the driveway,
    a son coming home.

    I find her in the morning,
    in her nightgown,
    arms across her chest,
    wind in her hair,
    eyes upon the blossom,
    tear in her eye.

    Reflected in the blossom
    is a single dew drop,
    as if saying for once,
    I agree.

    Her scars are healed over from that

    -JR Simmang

  24. Bee Halton

    The new one

    “Oh hello!”
    The new one.
    Gossip says,
    she is crazy.
    nice though.

    “How are you?”
    “Fine thanks!”
    she says
    looking around
    Not from this
    country then.

    “I’ll show you around.”
    “Oh brilliant!”
    Intelligent questions,
    she knows,
    what she is doing.

    “Why have you changed jobs?”
    “I got bullied
    and had to go!”
    she is not
    so crazy

  25. Lindy

    Ghostwriting Posthumous Memoirs

    Where do I start,
    how does it end?
    Some of the middle
    I’ll have to pretend.

    It’s all in my head –
    the laughter, the lies…
    the challenge before me:
    unmask the disguise.

    To reveal such a woman
    so locked in her doubt
    that readers are breathless
    for her crying out.

    Few persons know
    the woman inside;
    the beat of her heart,
    the strength of her stride.

    An angel to me
    of life set afire –
    A memory of love
    Mom left to inspire.

  26. Andrew Kreider


    It’s so hard to be an honest-to-goodness adult
    at this awful Thanksgiving dinner
    when everyone is still acting like it’s 1985.

    Your dad, earnestly thanking God for a turkey no one likes
    while your mother hovers, and everyone else fidgets, thinking
    it’s so hard to be an honest-to-goodness grown-up

    and before long, all the old conflicts rise up
    jealousy and secrets, and hitting exactly where it hurts most.
    At this awful Thanksgiving dinner

    you are reminded why you love these people so much
    that you had to leave – because it’s impossible to breathe
    when everyone is still acting like it’s 1985.

  27. Cin5456

    Defending Territory

    A gray fox jogs up from the creek.
    On light feet with nose close
    down, sniffing the ground, thick tail straight out.
    Two lounging cats hiss and sit up on the porch.
    Their hackles rise, backs hunched.
    The fox stops and stares with keen yellow eyes.
    The orange tomcat tries to slink away unnoticed,
    belly close to the ground. He takes a step,
    moving—an-inch-at-a-time—right paw out,
    place it just so—before lifting the left
    with tail tucked low.
    The black female, with a clean white vest,
    and four white paws crawls beneath the table
    where a glass of iced tea sweats.
    Front door opens, and out comes Kate with a broom.
    She stamps her foot; she yells. “Get out of here, you.”
    The fox just stares, not moving,
    too brave to be cowed. This tableau
    holds . . . longer than a deep drawn breath held.
    Up the driveway two Rottweilers frolic,
    nipping at each as they trot by.
    One spies the fox,
    the other sees a cat.
    Growling, they sidle closer,
    heads low, teeth bared.
    The fox gathers its feet and leaps,
    for the nearest bush, quick on its feet,
    with streaking dog not far behind.
    The cats’ backs hump, tails
    flagged high. One predator jumps
    for the cats, but Kate raises her broom,
    and bashes the dog on the head.
    It growls louder, stopped but not backing down.
    She raises the broom for another harsh blow, but
    the intrepid tabby attacks, defending his porch.
    Sharp claws lash the Rottweiler’s nose,
    drawing blood. It yelps and leaps away,
    bolting after easier prey.
    Kate praises the tomcat
    then sits, and picks up her iced tea.

  28. Misky


    This boy
    my boy
    now married.
    Now seeking
    a new way. A new
    he and his lovely wife.
    the world
    they’ll go
    and when and where
    they land my heart
    and wishes
    will be found.
    But I cannot
    in truth
    I’m happy.

  29. PKP

    On Being A Good and Proper Visitor

    To sit in satin petticoat
    In stuffy mohaired chair
    To not kick dangling
    patent leather
    Shoes – not show shimmering
    Feet straining to run there
    There to flowered fields
    Ah buzzing fragrant fields
    Whispering “Come”
    out the window there
    To smile quietly
    and breathe and sip
    suffocated tea from
    translucent fragile silence
    stretching endlessly
    here from all
    from all sparkling
    out there

  30. Cin5456


    One more round, my friend.
    We’ll have one more before we go.
    Let’s drink to life,
    And all the fun we’ve had.
    Down it fast; it’s the last
    of the night.
    Buck up, but don’t up-chuck.
    The whiskey’s too good to waste.
    I’ll see you next Friday
    and we’ll do this again.
    Adios, good friend.

    It’s Friday, my friend but
    we won’t be having drinks tonight
    I wish we hadn’t last week.
    We saluted life and fun that night.
    We did not know how short
    life would be.
    This is our last goodbye.
    I’ll never see you again, but
    I’ll remember you forever.
    Buck up. The child lived,
    though his mother did not.
    Her life was too precious to waste.
    Adios, good friend.

      1. Cin5456

        Thank you. I wondered if it would be okay. I worked on this one for a couple of months last year. The prompt brought it to mind, so I rearranged a few words to smooth it out before posting it.

  31. Never2L8

    This is depressingly good. I saw it with my sweet Grandmother and know, if I live long enough, it will probably be me. Nice job of capturing an issue of old age.

  32. PressOn


    The old woman shuffles to the commode,
    a walk of just six feet.
    She has to use a walker now —
    for legs that once could steer a plow —
    to reach the plastic seat.

    The old woman fumbles for the commode;
    it’s hard to lift the lid.
    Her hands, once skilled at kneading dough,
    now wadded into whorls of woe,
    won’t work as once they did.

    The old woman sits upon the commode
    and waits for waste to pass.
    She looks outdoors, at fallow fields
    where once she toiled to raise the yields,
    as through a looking-glass.

    The old woman rises from the commode;
    arranges diaper and slip.
    For about an hour she’ll watch TV
    with eyes that focus distantly,
    then make the same pained trip.

    1. Never2L8

      This is depressingly good. I saw it with my sweet Grandmother and know, if I live long enough, it will probably be me. Nice job of capturing an issue of old age.

    2. Marie Elena

      Wow. I’ve read this 4 times, just shaking my head at the astoundingly effective way in which you’ve captured this dear one’s life … from strength, pride, vibrancy, and bounty to frailty, dependency, humility, and despondency.

      BRILLIANT, William. One of your best.

    3. Cin5456

      This was my great grandmother. She was a farmer’s wife eking a living out of the dust bowl in North Texas. Near the end in the 1960s the portable commode was next to her bed, and she had help getting from bed to seat. Every day, no matter what the season, she wanted to know if the apricots were ripe yet, because she wanted to “get the preserves done early this year.”

    4. Sondie

      Wonderful! I really, really like the second stanza…the imagery of her hands is excellent. We often forget that every one has a history, not seeing beyond the hands that are “now wadded into whorls of woe”. I found myself hoping this woman has someone to listen to her life story 🙂


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