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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 245

For this week’s prompt, write an antique poem. It could be about or involve physical antiques. Or maybe the poem addresses an antique way of thinking, acting, etc.

Here’s my attempt at an antique poem:

“Elegy for the Card Catalog”

My children don’t know you,
the tactile sense of searching
for the perfect book. Fingers
fumbling for more information,
each drawer an ice core
of exploration. An early
casualty of digital, I wept
when you left, like a book
doomed never to return.

*****

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*****

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and feels that the 2014 Poet’s Market really is the best edition yet. He’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53), because really, poets have the same potential as mathematicians and politicians at figuring things out. He’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

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132 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 245

  1. veronica_gurlie

    bold,
    brassy,
    jazzy,
    old time feeling
    I remember,
    posing like a stiff drink,
    some black slick
    watching me
    and jingling a song,
    with shinny pieces of change,
    in his pocket,

    1. veronica_gurlie

      TYPO: a period at the end.

      Bold,
      brassy,
      jazzy,
      old time feeling
      I remember,
      posing like a stiff drink,
      some black slick
      watching me
      and jingling a song,
      with shinny pieces of change,
      in his pocket.

      1. veronica_gurlie

        I recall,
        a bold,
        a brassy,
        a jazzy,
        old time feeling
        posing like a stiff drink,
        some black slick
        watching me,
        jingling a song,
        with shinny pieces of change,
        in his pocket.

        1. veronica_gurlie

          Wasn’t happen with my meter. So tweak the meter a few times.
          Here we go:

          I recall,
          a bold,
          a brassy,
          a jazzy, old time feeling
          posing like a stiff drink,
          a black slick watching me,
          and jingling a song,
          with shinny pieces of change,
          in his pocket.

  2. Bruce Niedt

    Archaics Roadshow

    First of all, I’m amazed that this poem
    was preserved so well for all these years
    in your grandfather’s attic.
    Just look at the details in this piece:
    Right here in the first stanza you have an “o’er”
    followed closely by a “twixt” and an “ere”.

    Then if you look carefully in the second stanza,
    just below the “prithee”, you’ll see, very clearly,
    a “betimes” and a “lackaday”. I don’t think
    I’ve ever seen all three words in one stanza
    in a poem of this vintage.

    And finally, just as he finishes the last two lines,
    the poet ends with a flourish: a “forsooth”,
    a “wherefore” and a “twain”.
    What makes this such a valuable find
    is that the average poem of this era
    may have had two or three archaic words –
    this one has no less than eight.

    The signature is authentic, and as I said,
    it’s in excellent condition. What’s more,
    the craftsmanship is remarkable –
    they just don’t make them like this anymore.
    I think a poem like this could fetch
    upward of ten thousand dollars.
    Thank you for bringing it to us today.

  3. Julieann

    Antiquities

    Musty and dusty antique stores
    Conceal treasures, harbor history
    Allowing a view through their doors
    For a glimpse into the past

    Silk and satin dressed Jumeaus
    Once lovingly treasured
    Sit scrunched between old shoes,
    Books, and tourist memorabilia

    Dented pots and pans
    Cozy next to fine English china
    While opera glasses and fancy lacy fans
    Are spread out on the divan

    Elaborate furniture clutters the aisle
    Needing a good dusting
    To show off its design and style
    Along with its expert craftsmanship

    We look at these antiques
    And wonder what society will cherish
    As our “things” barely last a few weeks
    Leaving nothing for the ages

      1. PressOn

        I agree. Plastic lasts a long time, but most plastic things I’m aware of show little craftsmanship, and thus likely wouldn’t be antiques if they lasted a thousand years.

  4. Cin5456

    Old, Interesting, Worthless

    Somewhere in dank and drafty attic
    or a dark infested basement
    is the work of an undiscovered genius,
    an artist, a loner known by none.
    He gave all his leisure hours
    to create a work of artistic genius
    adorned by his unique perspective,
    perhaps from observing men and industry,
    or perhaps his focus was less focused,
    an impressionistic view of love
    or a cubist’s summation of horror.
    This work of genius, weather worn
    before we knew of its existence,
    would shake the world of artists,
    the faith of humanists,
    and the certainty of critics.
    When he passed away his home
    was sold by distant relatives
    who cleared out all his clutter.
    They underestimated the value
    of the work he hid from all,
    and threw it in a cardboard box
    destined for the flea market
    or garage sale, sold for a dime
    or quarter second hand.
    Some antique hunter found it
    in a box among the junk, and thought,
    This is old; it’s worth a look.
    She took it to the Antique Road Show
    where they said the artist is unknown.
    The experts said it’s old
    and interesting, but worthless.
    The treasure of inestimable value
    is back where it began and
    can be found in a box
    in a dank and drafty attic
    or dark infested basement.
    But which one?

  5. snuzcook

    PENMANSHIP

    One day at the age of ten,
    I defined my universe
    As separate from that of my Grandma.
    She was patiently teaching me
    The beautiful cursive that was
    As much her world as her pressed sheets
    And her tidy kitchen.
    I grumbled at the capital letters
    That had no semblance to
    My beloved printing,
    I tried and succeeded
    With almost all the flowing forms.
    But the final straw was the capital Q,
    Important, for it was part of her name.
    I refused to write my Grandma’s name
    With what looked like a droopy ‘Z,’
    To write it in a way unrecognizable.
    Remembering now, I realize
    The writing was on the wall.
    I always chose my own way,
    The way that made more sense
    In the way I saw the world.
    Still she forgave me,
    And what’s more, accepted me.
    You see, my name was already
    Written in her heart
    In letters that she
    could clearly understand.

  6. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    My honey calls me this….

    Biddy Biddy Bom Bom
    [after Selena Quintanilla's song Bidi Bidi Bom Bom]
    {triolet}

    She’s no spring chicken
    but the old bird’s all I got.
    She makes my legs weaken.
    She’s no spring chicken.
    She outsmarts me like the dickens
    but I think she’s rather hot.
    She’s no spring chicken
    but the old bird’s all I got.

    1. bjzeimer

      RUMBLE SEAT

      It was an antique even then–
      a rumble seat.
      You lifted up the lid to what
      looked like a trunk,
      but there was a seat inside,
      separate from the front seat
      where our parents rode.
      In summer, you rode with
      the lid, or door open.
      In winter, you would have
      to put it down, but not latch it.
      The oldest of the children
      would hold the lid down,
      unlatched and leaving a crack
      so we could breathe.
      There was Mommy peering
      through the back glass
      to see that we were keeping
      lid down and unlatched,
      as we rumbled in our seat.

  7. annell

    Christmas
    Christmas around the corner
    Just out of sight
    Snow covers the ground
    Outside
    The horse and
    Sleigh await
    Make the
    Neighborhood rounds
    Singing carols
    Sip a bit
    Santa’s on his way
    Mom and Day
    Up late
    Sparkly tree
    Pretty presents
    For everyone
    Mama killed a chicken
    Stuffed it with dressing
    Children tucked in bed
    Just a memory
    Of long ago
    Or maybe
    Never

  8. Connie Peters

    Antiques

    A ntiques give tribute to the past, reminding us
    N ow is just a moment, many have come before and many will come after.
    T he oil lamp on my cupboard top tells me to be thankful for electricity.
    I look at the black and white pitcher and am grateful for running water. Grandma’s
    Q uilt consists of patches from clothing my husband’s family must have worn. The
    U rn once carried ashes of a grandparent. The gravy boat features cracks
    E mulating wrinkles of aged ancestors who once used it at thanksgiving feasts.
    S o many trinkets left to teach, inspire, enlighten, admonish and memorialize.

  9. writinglife16

    Delilah’s old washing machine

    My grandmother was called,
    G2, by us grandkids.
    She was named Glorajean Grace.
    She absolutely hated her name, but thought
    our name for her was kind of cool.

    Other folks that it was disrespectful, but
    she shook her head and smiled.
    She had an old wringer washer she had
    named Delilah.

    Two things were true about it.
    It gave a great upper body workout and you’d be
    dripping with sweat at the end.

    G2 said it was easier than a scrubbing board.
    We asked her why she named it Delilah.
    She laughed and said it was a beauty.

    Years later, I wondered about it.
    After she died and the headstone was laid
    it read “Glorajean Grace Delilah Willis.”

    The adults were outraged, then they
    saw the original order with that name and G2’s signature.
    They shook their heads, mumbling,
    “Delilah was a temptress.”

    They didn’t get it.
    She had never seen herself
    as Glorajean Grace.
    She was Delilah.

    p.s. Those old wringer washers came to my mind with this prompt.

  10. Cin5456

    Legacy of Perseverance

    Grandma Pearl was one hundred and three
    when she passed away. Born in Oklahoma,
    in 1898, she told stories of her early life.
    She remembered walking behind a wagon
    collecting buffalo chips in her apron
    which her mother used for cook fires.
    It stank to high heaven, she said, but
    a body has to eat, and the prairie has no trees.
    Grandma’s grammar was perfect. She taught
    school since right after she graduated
    high school at fifteen years old. She quit
    when she married my grandfather after
    he punched out the mayor for insulting her.
    Mary Pearl Smoot Vaughan Forrest lived
    in three centuries. She traveled by wagon train
    across the prairies to Texas, and she lived
    long enough to watch men land on the moon.

    Mary Pearl had seven siblings and
    she raised three of her own through
    depression and dust bowl, fighting
    against wind and sand and dry cotton.
    She lived through famine, and floods,
    but she never gave up hope and faith.
    Widowed at forty three, she carried on
    in only way she knew how, doing her best
    every day to raise her children right.

    She taught school and sold vitamins
    and maintained three properties. Mary Pearl
    married again the year I was born, but still
    mowed the lawns of all three properties
    by herself with an old metal push mower
    until she turned ninety two. She was
    the president of her WWI Ladies Auxiliary
    Association for thirty five years and
    attended her last convention in Dallas
    travelling by bus at the age of ninety four.

    When she was ninety six Grandma Pearl
    broke her hip while chinking windows
    against an expected January dust storm.
    At ninety eight she survived surgery
    for a broken wrist but lost her short-term
    memory. Her life would have been longer
    but they said she had breast cancer.
    Someone made the choice to not treat her
    and she passed quietly one year later in 2001.
    If anyone asked who in my life I admired most
    I would say, My Grandma Pearl taught me
    that any hardship in life can be overcome
    with faith, hope, and hard work.

      1. Cin5456

        I should have described her antique hands kneading biscuit dough at five a.m. Thank you William. This didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. There is a lot of love seething through my memories of Grandma Pearl. That is what everyone else called her, but to me she was Grandma Mary. I should have taken that approach, and next time I write about her I will do that.

  11. De Jackson

    Antiquity

    She feels ancient, cracked
    and scarred as earth, held

    low by gravity’s blow and
    pain’s untimely birth. Seld

    -om and slender are her
    smiles, reined in to dam

    both -age and tears. She
    fears this wasted wand

    -ering heart may never be
    -lieve in its own worth.

    .

  12. write_0n

    Tymewriter

    The keys on my body are of the alphabet
    Every stroke of the keys is a letter
    Made into a word
    Written into a paragraph
    Told into a story
    All I need is a ribbon to make into color
    To fall on the paper
    For every coffee break there is a ding
    The ding is a break of a sentence
    Ernest Hemingway once said when touched
    By my keys I make people bleed
    Come a long way in the age-old days
    Of writers, you don’t say

  13. write_0n

    Timewriter

    The keys on my body are of the alphabet
    Every stroke of the keys is a letter
    Made into a word
    Written into a paragraph
    Told into a story
    All I need is a ribbon to make into color
    To fall on the paper
    For every coffee break there is a ding
    The ding is a break of a sentence
    Ernest Hemingway once said when touched
    By my keys I make people bleed
    Come a long way in the age-old days
    Of writers, you don’t say

  14. Cin5456

    (Sorry, another rant, this time in antique language.)

    Ageless Questions

    Why dost thou seek the sun and stars?
    Hath thy coffers not enough already
    to feed and clothe the destitute?
    Hath thou not enough to cure the lame and ill?

    Why dost thou seek to own a woman’s mind?
    Hath she not served your fellow man
    for ten thousand years and more?

    Why dost thou ravish Mother Earth?
    Hath she not supported life since
    before the advent of man’s ascent?

    What harm hath these done unto you?
    What crime hath man, woman, and Earth
    committed against thou to seek their end?

    Why dost thou seek to own us all?
    Hath thou not the means to alter water
    into wine, women, and song
    for the rest of your days already?

  15. dford

    Transcended

    As I approach the building, the sheer grandeur holds my attention. I can’t help but feel honored in some way to be privy to the institution that has meant so much to so many. The historical and architectural aspects alone are awe-inspiring.

    The rooms cloaked in craftsmanship that may no longer exist as it once was. Men took pride in their skills and left behind a portrayal of ornate artistry. Women brought their own skill-set and took immense delight in its decorum and upkeep.

    When I think of the women that have passed through these doors, the lives they might have lived, and the eras that they gracefully represented, my curiosity unfolds. I find myself a true believer, a believer not only in the integrity of timelessness, but most profoundly, the utter splendor of transcendence.

    Dorothea E. Ford, 2013 (Dedicated to the YWCA members of Johnstown, both past and present)

  16. priyajane

    The Ancient Tree

    Some long inhales of centuries
    whisper through its glands
    Rise and fall of dynasties
    and seasons, changing hands
    It has grown with tears, buried in snow
    and nestled threats of wind
    Growing furrows of rusty red –
    doorways, for your wings
    Time has spiraled thro its bark
    and age has breathed in ink
    A reverent symbol of the strong
    that makes my hear, rethink—

    1. PressOn

      This is superb, in my view. The very last word, rethink, emphasizes for me the seeming agelessness of old trees. Some friends of mine, in their late eighties, have had to leave their home, built on 1892, and when it was built, an “old oak tree” was specified as the boundary marker for one corner of the lot. That tree is still there. Rethink….

  17. Sara McNulty

    Our Clock

    In 1820, our grandfather clock
    was born. Handsome in mahogany,
    the clock still has his original hands,
    and the face of Queen Victoria.
    Over the years, cracks and dents
    have appeared; the clock wears
    down as do we all. For me, the ring
    of that bell on the hour, is a signal
    of stability, and makes our house
    a comfortable home.

    1. elishevasmom

      This reminds me of the old song…”My Grandfather’s clock wouldn’t fit on a shelf so it stood ninety years on the floor…” A pleasant memory – thank you.

  18. Jane Shlensky

    Robert, thanks for reminding me of my early love affair with the card catalogue. As a kid, I was a library assistant honored with the upkeep of that lovely old cabinet. There’s something to be said for tactile stimulation in research. Great poem.

    Old Stuff

    They came looking for things they thought to steal
    but finding people home, they stood and talked,
    itching to look in barns, attics, and sheds.

    “I wonder if you have old things to sell,”
    they started, seeing well each farm was poor.
    “What sort of things?” was one foot in the door.

    They offered coins for what they knew worth bucks.
    They saw no harm in such free enterprise,
    convincing little boys to rob their kin.

    So what if family heirlooms were hauled off,
    a piece of history became their ‘find’,
    leaving a family poorer than they’d known,

    bereft of anything they’d called their own.
    I can see Mama narrowing her eyes,
    assessing them from top of heads to toes;

    she had an instinct for locating cheats,
    and she knew antiques fetched more than they’d pay.
    “We don’t have much, but you’ll not prey on us,

    for what we have came honestly, with work.”
    “Yes, yes, of course, we wouldn’t dream…” they’d sing;
    “We wouldn’t cheat you now for anything.”

    “Run on along,” she’d say, as if she shooed
    chickens from her favorite flower beds.
    “You needn’t come again; we’re always home.”

    They’d drop their eyes, knowing she’d seen them plain,
    and sidle slowly to their van, still drawn
    to what they thought we must have tucked away.

    I watched my brother pout counting up change
    he might have earned by selling family things—
    aged dough trays, door knobs, quilts, hand-made and old.

    It would be years before he saw the need
    of valuing what grandparents had made
    with their own hands, when skill was all they had.

    And even now, he says, “I want things new.
    Don’t give me your old junk as if it’s mint.
    It ain’t antique; it’s family worn-out junk.”

    Each child will have his say, each family fed
    by what it values in its heart and head.
    One precious object a forebear held dear
    means more to me he can bear to hear.

    1. PressOn

      I haven’t much time for checking in now, but I happened to see this and just wanted to remark on it. This is a wonderful story, and the phrase, family worn-out junk,” strikes deeply. Things are not just things when one can envision a forbear using them. Just superb work.

      1. Jane Shlensky

        Thank you, Bill. I have an old dough tray my great grandfather carved from a tree trunk for his wife to make biscuits. It’s seen a lot of biscuits over the years, but I like to touch where his whittling smoothed the wood. It matters. Cheers, friend.

  19. taylor graham

    OLDIES-BUT-GOODIES

    Overhead, a struggle of crows.
    Heavy wingbeats, black palpitations above
    gray rooftops. Savvy birds, they know
    it’s too cold for flawless flight. Any airborne
    bird’s auspicious in this weather.
    Down here on sidewalk, I’m pressing east
    up Main with a tiding walk to navigate
    slick ice. I pause in front of the antique shop;
    in its window a cut-glass bowl
    of peppermint to celebrate the season.
    Imagine a sugar-zest to the tongue as fresh
    as this morning, I feel a bit antique
    myself, bundled against whatever
    the weather holds. But I’ve got a date
    with sunrise, surprising yellow ball that just
    now lifts itself slowly in the south;
    almost blinding as it clears the ridgetop
    pines; as if it intuits how I – like
    a small lunar hamster on my daily circuit –
    need its distant warmth, its brightness
    in this season.

  20. PressOn

    AN OLD CODA

    Antique Annie fell in love
    with, oh, several dozens of
    the cutest lads you ever saw.
    She ran afoul of the law
    because her age was not a match
    for one and sundry of her catch,
    but Annie never was dismayed
    despite the fines she often paid;
    she used to say, “I speak the truth:
    this is how I keep my youth.”

  21. elishevasmom

    Old School

    With bodies hurtling
    through time,
    stuck on auto-pilot,

    blissfully unaware
    of the hurdles strewn
    in their wakes,

    their newly blazed
    trails reduced to ashes
    and smoke,

    choosing to torch
    the trees rather than
    search for the forest,

    our culture’s progeny
    live not on the edge
    but far beyond it.

    Yet the small inner voice
    begs intuition to hoist—
    and in triumph rejoice

    that the guidance they need
    is carried as seed
    deep within.

    “Perhaps you can’t see me,
    but water me with attention,
    and the strength that grows

    will become your lifeline.
    Grasp the knots of adversity.
    They will aid your climb upward.”

    Ellen Evans 12.11.13
    an “antique” poem for PA

  22. taylor graham

    I’m still working on a new “antique” poem. But here’s one about an old Shepherd-dog from my new book, What the Wind Says:

    PORTRAIT OF OLD DOG
    for Taco

    He’s reached his golden hours,
    lying here on his priceless spine,
    thanks to the best veterinary medicine
    money could buy

    for a hero who’s followed lost footprints
    and found a dozen tennis balls
    gone astray.

    This green fuzzy one, meant for
    back-and-forth courting,
    the sweet young bitch covets
    from between his paws

    as he lies at my feet,
    a lion in his sober golden grayness,
    his vigilant ears.

  23. Misky

    An Antique of Indeterminate Value

    I am an antique
    by my own estimation.
    Too frequent to cough
    to clear my dry hesitation.
    My bones are of eggshell,
    and I too easily choke
    on words that flew free off my tongue
    like doves from a perch,
    or rain falling from clouds.
    I trip over dropped syllables,
    trip over unravelling threads
    in messages, trip over thoughts
    as if they were shoes
    a size too large, and my wrinkles
    have wrinkles all of their own.
    I am an antique,
    quite unusual and unique,
    and I’m demanding
    an indeterminate value.

  24. Domino

    Steampunk

    What fun (to me) to don the clothes
    of ancient, old, antiquity.
    To put on bloomers, chemise, (best
    wear one under your corset),
    petticoat, blouse, skirt, bustle, vest,
    (waistcoat), jacket, and possibly shawl,
    and, of course, that’s not all!
    Because a proper outfit has a hat,
    and possibly, (probably) more than that:
    an under-bust corset, knapsack, cup of tea,
    life ring (in case you’re lost at sea),
    and every steam-punk will agree,
    goggles, gears, and other debris,
    and all the accouterments you see,
    of whatever character you wish to be…
    An adventurer with laser gun,
    or airship captain on the run,
    a cop with billy-club to stun,
    or just a scientist having fun,
    but when you’re done let me say here,
    with all the layers of clothing and gear,
    you’ve only scratched the bare veneer
    of the wonderful, fun, engaging sphere
    of Steampunk.

  25. barbara_y

    Cold and Slow

    An antique hovercraft, the winter morning
    has a hard time leaving the roost. Its limbs
    creak; its creeks are frozen to their banks,
    and when it tries to rise it kicks up steam
    and molting feather clouds. It wants its youth
    back. When it could spread the east with whipped scud
    and hit Hawaii before your coffee’d cooled
    enough to drink. With those days gone to dust
    it might be nice to rest its old patinaed
    hull on a warm still lake, south, where time runs slow.

  26. Nancy Posey

    Silvet Bread Basket

    The only heirloom he wanted, it eluded him for years,
    long after his mother’s death, his father’s relocation
    to a place where others could watch over him,
    on the crisp white cloth on the dining room table
    for every Sunday dinner, lined by a linen napkin,
    holding her homemade rolls. Its story he knew well,
    one of the few possessions carried away on their escape
    from Czarist Russia, given as a wedding gift, cherished
    but put to use the way folks did back then, value
    not in hoarding, saving, but enjoying, displaying.
    As they grew old, though, and as Sunday dinners
    grew less grand, no one thought to ask about the treasure.
    Siblings avoided mentioning it at all to one another,
    lest the others take notice, wanting it more.
    Breaking up housekeeping at last, their children
    sorted through the larger pieces—beds and chests,
    the tall grandfather clock in the hall, Mama’s china,
    Daddy’s books, his Merschaum pipe—doing their best
    to be fair, to be equal. Broaching the topic at last,
    he asked where it might be, and their answers,
    unsatisfactory at best, aloof, turned up nothing,
    aroused his suspicion. He searched the attic, drawers,
    and cabinets, until at last he found it—hiding in plain sight
    behind the cheap florist vases on the linen closet shelf.
    The tarnish served to camouflage its beauty, but its heft
    revealed its worth–solid silver, intricately cut, polished
    clean with hard work, a loving hand, and a soft cloth.

  27. uneven steven

    Antique
    the knot
    in the same
    shoulder blade
    every morning
    as you lay on your left side
    my right thumb circling the
    ache again
    smoothing it like feathers
    ruffled
    from too long a flight,
    a down pillow lain on
    for far too long
    the rough of a varnish
    rubbed smooth by too many hands
    over too many years
    thoughtlessly used
    and forgotten
    abandoned
    in a dark corner
    just a little
    care
    making you
    even better
    than new

    1. uneven steven

      update to make it better –

      Antique
      the knot
      in your back
      as you lay in our bed
      facing away from me
      every morning
      my right thumb circling that
      same ache again and again
      smoothing it like ruffled
      feathers,
      your taut skin the rough of a varnish
      rubbed smooth by too many hands
      over too many years
      thoughtlessly used
      and abandoned
      needing just a little
      care
      to make it all
      even better
      than new

  28. Nancy Posey

    Robert,
    I so miss the old card catalog. I even had a beautiful one in a classroom (and didn’t get to take it with me when I moved)–the apothecary knobs and the heavy oak drawers. I can smell it now.

    Back soon with a poem (as soon as I get through with these darned pesky students and classes.)

  29. Michelle Hed

    I Took a Walk

    with my Walkman
    the other day
    and people stopped to stare.
    I’m sure they loved my fashion,
    my eighties big hair,
    the tube socks with the red stripes on top,
    the short shorts that went up to there!
    The tube top around, well you know where,
    and I had a sweat band around my wrist and through my hair
    and I bounced to the music as I walked on air.

    When I got home
    I threw an eight-track in
    and danced to some music
    while fixing a gin
    and tonic in a Tom Collins glass
    wondering where Tom Collins was today
    and if he still talks about people in that special way.

    Tomorrow, I will try to telegraph a friend.

    (References: Eighties technology, the Tom Collins Hoax of 1874 and the Telegraph Machine.)

    1. PressOn

      I don’t know why I missed this earlier, but I’m glad to find it now. Such a delight, and the ending makes my wonder if the “cocoanut wireless” will follow.

  30. Walt Wojtanik

    SHE’S OLD, BUT SHE’S STURDY

    By the window she waits,
    patient – crocheting pieces
    for future projects; busy work
    while she waits. She debates

    whether to head for bed,
    or keep watch as every swatch
    of yarn falls neatly, completely
    finished for an afghan perhaps.

    She trims the candle – long wicks
    burn wildly, and she is mildly cautious.
    He is off for a quick jaunt, once around
    the world and on until morning.

    She needs no warning; she knows,
    she always knows when it snows –
    a “blizzardous halacion”; her station
    will keep her posted, toes toasted and warm

    and no harm will come to those who dream.
    Visions dance gently as the children mentally
    prepare for the morning’s arrival.
    It is a matter of her Christmas survival.

    Her senses tingle, she hears a faint jingle,
    a hand reaches to touch the brooch
    he had brought her, the first gift of many
    Christmases past. It last belonged to his mother.

    No other woman could wear what every Claus did bear
    for his one true love. High above she sees a flash
    and her “antique” is home at last to give a tender pause.
    Such is life for the “old folk” – Santa and Mrs. Claus.

  31. Cameron Steele

    Antique

    I don’t know when I became
    a collector’s item, the hard
    lines on my face brittle like
    bones and my real ones
    weak enough to break on a stair.
    My grandchildren spend weekends
    pouring over old photo-albums,
    fingering snapshots of my salt-slicked
    legs at a beach, my bathing suit
    now yellow with age. They think
    these pictures are the relics — the
    touchstones of a time when I
    could outrun my boys or
    steal glances from the girls’
    beaus. But the truth is in the mirror —
    Sunday mornings before the kids
    tumble blithely down the stairs to greet
    me in my apron and bun, or later
    when they help me pick my way
    across the garden, knuckling
    the crook of my arm so hard
    it will bruise — the only antique
    in my house these days is me.

    1. elishevasmom

      ..fingering snap shots of my salt slicked legs. A lovely turn of phrase. I have a touch of dyslexia, and every time I read it through, I see salt licked legs, which would also sit nicely, I thinks. ;)

  32. Michelle Hed

    Awe

    To hold something old
    and feel the stories contained
    within every line and groove,
    pausing …
    to imagine where it’s been,
    what has been seen…
    and cherishing every piece
    for the treasure and the pleasure
    found within each gaze.

    1. PressOn

      So do I. It reminds me of some writing workshops I took years ago, In Taos, with Natalie Goldberg, who emphasized that writing with a pen on paper offered a connection to creativity not accessible to those using a computer.

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