Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 247

For today’s prompt, write a gift poem. Giving gifts, receiving gifts, coveting the gifts of others, admiring gifts, planning gifts, and so on. Consider this prompt a gift from me.

Here’s my attempt at a gift poem:


Each morning a gift–
the outline of tree branches
conducting bird songs.


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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, author of Solving the World’s Problems, and happy to celebrate the gift of his family today (and every day). Santa visited last night and left plenty of goodies for the kiddos this morning, though he enjoyed his gift of cookies and milk (or so his note indicated). Robert would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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99 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 247

  1. lisad

    From the Window

    She is a woman who looks out the window; she sees many beautiful sights
    To those that she waits for, we too wait for her.
    We see each other in our dreams,
    But our dreams drift away with the light from the moon.
    We dream together about sharing the same view,
    My hand in hers.
    What she sees out the window, we see it all too
    We embrace each other; she smiles from the window pane

    She is a mother who watches out for her son and daughter
    She is an aunt who looks out for her niece and nephew
    She is a daughter, reunited with her father; they long to touch the cheek of her mother.
    She is a sister who admires her brothers
    She is a grandmother now too; she watches her grandson learn and play
    She is a gift to all of those who look up at her, and we wait for the day
    That we can all be together again.

  2. seingraham


    Genetic is it?
    That’s what they say
    Somewhere in that
    Beautifully sculptured
    Spiralling, twisting
    Out, then back in
    Upon itself
    Double helix
    Barely understood
    Even by those
    Who profess
    Scientific knowledge
    Of such things –
    “They” say
    Hidden Deep
    within the recesses
    of our DNA or RNA
    or some such genome
    is the proclivity
    to pass along,
    or have passed along
    The disorder,
    the illness,
    the weakness

    Curiously, seldom,
    if ever do we seem
    to blame DNA
    for genius, compassion,
    or even just
    plain goodness.
    And so,
    here I wait…
    Broken mind
    holding up
    surprisingly well
    this year
    Might risk jinxing
    all to put it
    in black and white
    Surely tempting some
    Black Dog
    or other.

    But as well
    as my scarred
    and battered mind
    is managing to stay
    stitched together
    this time…

    My DNA
    has betrayed me
    in the worst
    possible way;
    my first-born is
    right now
    having his
    head shrunk,
    and not for the
    first time.
    I’m not
    conceited enough,
    nor ignorant
    to think
    ‘tis all my fault.
    Still – I would not
    have had
    him follow
    these particular
    for anything.

  3. ewdupler

    Friendship’s Gifts

    A helping hand,
    perhaps a smile;
    Caring thoughts,
    staying a while.

    Careful words,
    lovely letter;
    Speaking softly,
    listening better.

    Friendly banter,
    never rough;
    Sticking ‘round,
    though its tough.

    Never lie,
    meaning all;
    There to catch me,
    when I fall.

    Little things,
    To me you are,

    Being friends,
    gives me a lift;
    This my friend,
    is quite the gift.

  4. BeckyJoie

    “The Gift That Came Back to Me”

    The best gift I gave that gave back to me
    Was love to a child who needed a family.
    Such a difficult gift both to give and unwrap
    But so blessed and now I am getting it back.

    For somehow when I gave it, it opened MY heart
    and made room for the child whose life fell apart.
    He had learned that “to love” meant to hurt and to cry
    He struggled to re-learn and how he would try!

    But then when fear would rear it’s ugly head
    He would run and scream, hide his face in the bed.
    Not sure he could trust me, but wanting so much
    To believe and to trust, to feel real love’s touch.

    Then one day it happened, love opened his eyes.
    He saw that to trust did not mean he would die.
    He saw that our love was like sunrays on flowers
    Then he opened his heart and he became ours.

    The patience, the waiting, the pleading and tears
    Trying to show him he was worth it, he could let go of fear.
    He had a hope and future, a God-designed plan
    Not as a hurt little boy but a powerful man.

    He finally received it, the gift that I gave.
    He knew that I loved him and it made him brave.
    He opened his heart, felt the warmth of my love
    And he gave me a gift better than any I could think of.

    (Dedicated to my foster-adoptive son.)

  5. Marie Elena

    A Present
    It has been three years
    Since she lost her husband,
    Followed by any desire to face life

    Christmas Eve,
    A small box,
    Gracefully ribboned,
    Arrived nearly unnoticed.
    It bore her name.

    It felt empty,
    But its contents were
    Weighty –
    A simple strip of photos –
    An ultrasound.
    Her first grandchild.

    A present –
    A future.

  6. taylor graham


    Layers of measured time
    like steps from inner door to belfry,
    like climbing out of canyon from river
    up eons of rock that water erodes;

    rising toward night sky, its moon
    a waning cat’s eye skewing shadow
    among stars that have a different birth
    the closer you get, reaching

    for that gift, its confluence of stars
    rising out of dark till it dims to dawn,
    the solstice balancing toward light,
    no longer looking down.

  7. Glory

    The Gift

    It came by post,
    sat on the hall carpet,
    has sat, for more than an hour.

    Wrapped in brown paper
    with a pink ribbon bow
    wth the words –
    ‘To a loved one.’

    How did I resist;
    with fingers itching
    with heart racing,
    I declined – had too.

    Or once again,
    be beguiled by
    words, tender words
    to melt my heart.

    And so it lay, and
    lay, until the fine
    pink ribbon bow
    faded, the years passed.

    It came by post,
    sits on the hall carpet,
    has sat, long forgotten like
    the love I once knew.

  8. De Jackson


    I am listening to these trees.
    They know a few things. They speak
    in breeze, and they have wisdom
    to impart. See all that
    blue? They’ve seen it, too, for years.
    They’ve wrangled tears from sky
    and sent them down this hill
    to spill into indigo center. I know
    I’m just a renter of this skin, but
    there are things I’d like to know,
    quiet gifts I’d like to be given.
    If I wait here long enough, breath
    held, eyes closed, they might whisp
    -er what I seek. If I stay still and
    small and bid them all good morning,
    these fine pine magi might just set
    me free.


  9. PressOn


    When a miser is giving a gift,
    it may yield not a smile but a rift
    for it comes with strings and grim mutterings;
    best to give his faux gifting short shrift.

  10. bjzeimer

    Robert Brewer– I like your poem. It seems perfect for the season. How many times I have seen birds in the bushed outside the window. How lovely a gift. Thanks for the poem.

  11. Cin5456


    Grandpa Jones was a widower
    who lived with us after she passed.
    Dad should have given us warning
    that our tranquil days were past.
    Grandpa grumbled and griped.
    He always made a big stink
    about how much we spent
    and what the neighbors would think.
    He complained about holiday traffic
    and cursed commercial holiday greed,
    but he fussed like a maiden aunt
    draping lights on our Christmas tree.
    One Christmas morning it all ended
    and he never made a big fuss again-
    his mumbled complaints suspended.
    The change came over him suddenly
    with ribbons and wrapping torn open.
    He smiled and laughed like a kid
    just like we had been hoping.
    So our dad gave him the box
    the gift that mellowed him out.
    When he opened this present,
    we expected a curse and a shout.
    He took the top off and choked up.
    He cooed like a dove roosting
    in a soft voice I’d never heard.
    Tears wet his lashes, and his chin
    wobbled, but he said not a word.
    I’d never seen him speechless-happy.
    The choice we finally made for him
    was a thin homeless puppy,
    a rescued pit bull – his forever dog.
    Winsome Winifred was four months old
    when Grandpa began BullyforDogsBlog
    keeping local rescuers informed.
    That was ten years ago this winter.
    Now everyone loves Grandpa Jones
    and the work he does year-round
    finding forgotten dogs forever homes.

  12. dford

    Renewed Focus

    For years, I continuously fought my way out of a thin, damp paper bag, going round and round with the same issues. Until one day, I decided to shift my focus. I intentionally, though, not easily, began anew. I only shared my time with my writing, without thought to external opinions. My writing was, after-all, my first love. In addition, I discovered a love for photography.

    I will never go back to once was Used to be’s are just that–used to be’s!

    So, in summary, if you can’t let go; wrap your heart around something new. And that, my friends, is my gift to you……

  13. Julieann

    Love’s Gift

    Love is a many splendored thing
    Defying description and definition

    Love glistens like diamonds on a frosty morn
    It warms the soul like a Southern summer sun

    Love crashes in like white-cap breakers
    Or glides in undetected and with stealth

    Too many people live without love
    Too many people twist it to their own desires

    Love is a gift from above for us to treasure
    In all its many forms and conventions

    Love should be nurtured and given away freely
    Not clung to with a death’s grip

    Love asks nothing in return
    But to be enjoyed, accepted, and cherished

  14. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Regalos Poéticos
    [After the Minilalaloopsy doll “Lady writes a Poem“] {which I’m going to buy soon for me}

    Lady writes a poem.
    Puts it in your stocking.
    Lady mails a poem.
    The postman comes a-knocking.
    Lady knows a poem
    won’t make her rich or famous.
    Lady shares her poems.
    We love them! Who can blame us?

  15. Cin5456

    at checkout

    a miserable man
    rude & wearing
    an entitlement suit

    her cheek twitched
    our pseudo-smiles adjusted
    as our eyes met

    sisters know
    understanding went unspoken
    but our smiles became genuine

    our brown eyes met
    – shared minds
    and empathy evident

    our gazes support
    – have strength
    – keep faith with sisters

    1. Cin5456

      (I’ve revised this in the last few minutes. I posted too soon. I think this version is better.)

      at checkout

      a miserable man
      rude & wearing
      his entitlement suit

      her cheek twitched
      our pseudo-smiles adjusted
      as our eyes met

      we sisters aware
      understanding went unspoken
      but our smiles became genuine

      our brown eyes met
      shared minds
      and empathy evident

      her irises resembled
      a memory of sweeping
      and mopping until dawn

      we care
      gain strength from me
      keep faith with each other

  16. uneven steven

    This holy day
    each gift
    a welcome
    freely given
    by a giver
    torn in two
    by the giving
    socks from a forgotten aunt
    forever wanting to be
    tins of candied popcorn
    from co-worker
    friends too stressed
    by the season
    to pick a personal gift
    for a personal you
    they never really
    god, the earth
    with the expectations
    and regrets
    of oceans
    for each unearned
    breath you take
    being taken
    from you

  17. JRSimmang


    Found in the bottom
    of his old magic bag,
    Santa found folded
    a paperly rag.

    On it, he guessed,
    would be childlike scrawl,
    asking for Gameboys,
    skateboards, basketballs.

    He unfolded the paper,
    and adjusted his glasses,
    (old eyes barely notice
    when words quickly passes),

    and read out aloud
    the wishes inscribed,
    but quickly dwindled off
    for what was contained inside

    wasn’t a list, laundry
    or otherwise. There
    wasn’t a toy, pot or pan,
    unicorn or bear.

    It said, simply put,
    My tired fingers can’t grip
    the glittery pages,
    more often than not I’ll rip

    the hard wrought wrapping.
    I usually like to save it,
    and always to remember
    to thank the ones who gave it.

    But, recently, my tree has
    grown barren, a shadow,
    picked clean and hollow
    reflected through the window.

    This house, once full and warm,
    is now my depository.
    I’m a book, dusty and lost,
    where the last pages of my story

    have started falling out.
    My voice finds the walls just fine,
    I suppose. So, to whomever
    picks up this note, remember to dine

    every night at the dining
    room table with the candles
    lit and the voices of children
    being loud and carefree and hard to handle.

    Remember to say to them
    all the things your mother said
    to you when she loved you enough
    to tuck you into bed.

    And, most importantly,
    do not forget. Do not forget
    the feeling of heat in your heart.
    That, you’ll never regret.

    Santa pulled his sleigh over,
    and breathed in the winter air.
    He pulled the deer around.
    He had to get back there.

    Through the chilly winter storms,
    snow and sleet and ice,
    he found her little cottage,
    frozen into place.

    He alit on the roof,
    quiet as a lamb,
    and slid down the chimney
    to where it began.

    She was sitting in the kitchen,
    eyes peering outside,
    the tree was lit up bright,
    glowing, abundant pride.

    He walked ever so quietly
    and sat next to her,
    reached out his hand
    and patted her shoulder.

    She turned, and saw Santa,
    though she wasn’t surprised.
    She hadn’t been since
    she knew her parents lied.

    “My dearest madam,
    my evening’s up.
    Would you mind so much
    if we shared a cup

    of coffee? I’d like to talk
    to a person for once.”
    She obliged, of course she would.
    She hadn’t had a friend over in months.

    They spent the night talking
    of elves and reindeer,
    travel and food.
    School and kids, fears

    and desires. And when the sun
    rose, they were still sharing.
    All night, she laughed,
    which felt like baring

    her soul in her lungs.
    He saw her years fall off
    her back, her burdens burning
    to ash, her abandon sloughed

    into a pile on the floor.
    He felt the north calling his name,
    so he bade her farewell.
    “‘Tis a pity and a shame,”

    he called back as he lept
    to the hearth.
    “But I must be going,
    for this revolving earth

    waits for none. Not even I.”
    She took his hand, and his arms,
    and held him tight, graciously,
    where she was safe from harm.

    “Thank you for your time,
    familiar friend.
    Perhaps next year,
    we’ll do it again.”

    And he realized that the
    greatest gift he’d given
    cannot be wrapped
    and gets us close to heaven

    while keeping our feet
    firmly planted on the ground
    below us. He was drunk
    on conversation as he found

    his way back to swirling snow
    and the lights of the world below
    flickered in Christmas glow.

    -JR Simmang

  18. elishevasmom

    The Gift of Song

    Sing a sad song.
    It is a song that must be sung.
    Songs can touch a place
    in the soul that words cannot.

    And if you say you have
    no soul—it is for you
    especially—it must be sung.
    Whether or not you believe

    in his divinity, the faith
    of his teenage mother—her
    belief in his divinity—that
    is a song.

    Have you ever held a belief
    so strongly? Have you
    ever had such a faith?
    In anything?

    In a mere spark of light
    a life is born,
    a belief takes breath,
    a faith is fed.

    The song must
    be sung.
    But it need not always
    be sad.

    Ellen Evans 12.26.13
    (collected thoughts the day after Christmas)

  19. Cin5456


    an arm offered to an arthritic elder
    a smile for parents of an unruly child
    good morning – to a harried coffee vendor
    happy holidays – to a frazzled lunch waitress
    thank you – to a distracted bus driver
    you are so kind – to the man bagging groceries
    hope you make it home safe – to an upset driver
    to everyone – tell your (wife/husband/mother/father )
    they are lucky to have you in their life

    priceless gifts from the heart
    absent-minded gestures of kindness
    given as gifts and received in kind
    smiles lift hearts and raise spirits

    (To all the poets at Poetic Asides: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope you received lots of smiles today.)

    1. PressOn

      I love this one, especially for the line, “absent-minded gestures of kindness.” Being kind without being mindful of it strikes me as the essence of kindliness; it’s a habit.

  20. writinglife16

    The Gift

    The cat looked at the tree.
    Ooh, a present for me.
    All shiny and bright,
    with sparkling lights.
    A special gift for me.
    He took a sniff and then a nibble,
    but it wasn’t like kibble
    so he let it be.
    Later, as he walked by his human,
    she gasped and then sighed.
    He heard her say
    next year I’ll kiss the tinsel goodbye.

    1. Cin5456

      That’s cute. I pictured a cat with tinsel draped across its back or tail. My precious wore hers for two days and loved it. I think every time I took it off her she went back to the tree for more.

  21. Cameron Steele


    What better augur than the aurora
    a belt of blue and green to cinch
    in the waist of some sky I couldn’t
    possibly capture all by myself.
    I’ve never been that far North
    but I know all the stories:

    Old men read newspapers
    in the darkest part of the world
    without squinting because everything,
    as they say, is illuminated, and what
    else would a girl or a woman across
    an ocean expect from the kind of energy
    that can harness the name of a goddess?

    It’s terrifying, really, to think
    of every girl I was between yesterday
    and now, the week before I knew you
    and everything that came after, every
    second I spend counting and tonguing
    my own dry lips until I can sigh, until
    I can see your name light up the
    black screen of my cell phone
    as if your intentionality can charge
    and change the mundane particles
    that have always, in any time,
    made up a cold and thoughtless night.

    I am no goddess and who’s to say
    any woman ever was, but I don’t
    need a beaky man with his dirty bird
    to tell me what is different about
    this December.

    I used to spend the hours,
    after the gifts were unwrapped
    and my sisters were drunk or at the
    very least asleep, by myself, nursing
    the old wound of my own reflection:
    those round hips and full cheeks,
    the brownness of my hair and
    the way that even the best glass of
    wine couldn’t make my eyes shine
    the way I wished they would.

    It’s funny because I’ve never
    seen the Northern Lights, I’d never planned
    to until you and we haven’t even gazed
    into each other’s eyes or steadfastly pretended
    we weren’t trying to. It’s funnier because
    my mother says the Internet is a bad omen
    or, at the very least, something to make
    sure a girl like me will never be happy
    unless she has someone like you,
    some boy or man who tells
    her to look up pictures of Iceland,
    who knows she will stumble
    across an image of the dawn
    dancing in the middle of the night,
    who knows she will fall in love and
    forget she ever cared about
    proving her mother wrong.

    I can’t even remember my
    mother’s name or why she
    or any other woman in the world
    would hang her daughter’s hopes
    on the gestures of some grandfather
    who thought he saw a sign in the sand.
    On other Christmas nights, I’d be tucking
    into bed, sure that I’d wake up richer in the
    morning but no more happy.

    Let’s get poor, darling, and move to the North,
    not to read newspapers or shadows on the ground,
    not to shuffle our feet like our forefathers,
    but to dance with the one who brung us,
    torn between wrangling with the heat of the sky
    or the gift of watching and touching the other,
    planning to live forever or, at the very least,
    until morning comes around.

  22. Nancy Posey

    Best Gift

    Every year we learn the lesson but forget
    before the holidays roll around again—
    no matter how many packages Santa leaves
    beneath the tree, once the gifts are opened,
    the wrapping paper, boxes, bows
    thrown away, the one gift that cost the least,
    the one picked up on impulse, the last minute,
    ends up being the hit. Sometimes, in fact,
    while the uncles are scrounging around
    for batteries, reading the instruction manual,
    the assembly directions, the kids play
    in the back of the house with the boxes.

  23. Jane Shlensky

    Gift at Daybreak

    Sunrise nudges the birds,
    paints the horizon
    rose and grey,
    sends clouds skittering.

    Coffee warms my hands,
    my throat. A warm cat
    purrs watching the world
    wake up.

    My loves sleep
    snug in their beds,
    safe for now,

  24. NoBlock

    Hours passed in stores
    To find just the right one,

    Hours waiting in lines
    You did it for the ones you love,

    Hours spent wrapping
    Corners taped with precision,

    The day has finally come
    Kids drool with anticipation,

    The frenzy has begun
    15 seconds and it’s all undone!

  25. Jane Shlensky

    Gift as Deed

    Sometimes just spending time’s a gift
    and doing something thoughtful,
    kind the other person wants
    but doesn’t know it yet.

    They washed and waxed her car,
    cleaned her gutters, raked her leaves,
    and let her feed them dinner
    on her best china.

    She baked his favorite pies
    and put his pictures in an album,
    one a digital copy with music
    he loved. She brewed coffee
    and waited.

    The men arrived at half past five
    and built a ramp for him to glide
    in his wheel chair. Now they’ll
    take turns driving him
    into the world again.

    They take music and go around
    to those who need a song to sing,
    sometimes in hospitals or homes.
    They spend some time
    remembering, playing
    the oldies.

    That woman can cook anything
    and will, taking goodies
    here and there. Taste this, she says,
    and let me know what it needs,
    knowing already, it’s perfect gift.

    Thought, mindfulness,
    is the gift we long for,
    the one we recall
    and smile.

  26. PowerUnit

    Chandelier trees and snapping trunks
    Line the road to the world.
    Access to gas, food, and our mailbox
    Cut off. Ice storms ravaged.
    Yet Santa still came with presents.
    The children still visited their parents.
    The gift of family. Christmas lives on.

  27. taylor graham


    Twelve years ago we bought this tree –
    a dollar – trimmed with words for free.

    The Xmas tree’s lost seven words
    the kitten ate instead of birds.

    Bright paper rings, picked one by one,
    they make a poem when we’re done.

    The four of us still full of cheer;
    how many poems in a year!

    Each line a gift, a set of wings.
    The kitten purrs, the old dog sings.

  28. priyajane

    The Greatest Gift

    Give yourself the greatest gift
    Forgive, forgive, forgive
    Then let the spindle roll you out
    Across the sky of rainbow sprouts

    A tangled web just takes you south
    So much is lost in thoughts that pout
    So let it go and watch the flow
    Of what comes in to shine your door

    Give yourself the greatest gift
    Forgive, forgive,, forgive

    Thank you Robert and everyone, for the gifted expressions weaving this thread–

  29. PromptPrincess13

    The Best Gift of All

    Under the tree the presents all a glimmer,
    The bows wrapped atop all a-shimmer,

    From the peak of the tree, the angel sees and smiles,
    Knowing what lengths it took for them,
    Miles and miles.

    She looks at the six surrounding the tree,
    Their laughs tinkling and faces bright as can be,
    Shining with love and the will to be merry,

    In their eyes, she can see they know,
    That even if the pile of presents had been low,
    Their Christmas would be as jolly as ever,
    For they had family,
    And that is a gift that lasts forever.

  30. taylor graham


    I unwrapped the mystery package
    under the tree. For weeks I’d puzzled
    over its golden sheen, its intricate bow.

    Inside was nothing
    I needed nor wanted, nor had a place
    for in the kitchen.

    Outside, morning dawned.
    I walked to the barn
    to release the sheep to daylight.

    And there was Christmas,
    a nubbly gray lamb newborn
    with Freckles his mother standing guard.

    I’ll bring them alfalfa hay,
    warm water, corn-oat-barley grain.
    The best gifts come unexpected.


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