April PAD Challenge: Day 4

Publish date:

Sorry for the late post today. It's been a doozy of a morning. First, the power was knocked out by some intense storms early this morning, so my alarm did not wake me up this morning. Luckily, my girlfriend called--giving me just enough time to rush over and make my oil change appointment (in a very disoriented state of mind). Once at the dealership, I was told the average oil change wait time is 30-45 minutes. "Good, good," I thought, "that'll give me just enough time to get a start on my poem for today." So anyway, I guess I should've been trying to get a start on my Great American Novel, because 105 minutes later I'm politely asking if maybe they called my name and I didn't hear them. "Actually, no," they said--also politely, "The car in line before you had problems getting off THE RACK." So yeah, I'm not one to make a big fuss, so I said, "Cool," and sat back down worried about posting for y'all (because I'm always thinking of my wonderful blog readers) and just attributed it to some weird Friday bad luck. Anyway, 2 hours after arriving, they finally had me set to go. I pull out my wallet and find out that all I have to do is sign my name and leave. The service guy didn't even bother telling me it was on the house, and--as mentioned earlier--I'm not one of those people who pushes for that kind of stuff. So, yeah, nice ending to a weird morning. I'm thankful for the way they treated me without forcing me to be a jerk--and without making a big "to do" about how they were giving me excellent customer service by putting it on the house. It's the little things really. Anyway, that was a huge ramble. And now, on to the prompt!


Actually, that ramble kind of perfectly fits in with today's prompt, which is to write a thankful poem (at the time, I was thinking TGIF=thankful poem?). Another option is to write a tribute poem. The thankful/tribute poem can be dedicated to a person, an inanimate object, an idea, a day of the week, etc.

For my part, I used this prompt to write a poem on a subject that I've just never been able to tackle: my mother. She's one of those people who is so perfect that every poem I've ever tried writing about her has been kind of blah. But you know what, who cares? So here goes:

"My Mother"

She began working in a car factory at 18,
got married, had 3 boys, and thought
of eventually doing something other
than working in a car factory. But she believed
in providing. Even after the divorce, she
worked and worked and did not let it
keep her from shuttling 3 boys between
practices and events; she did not let
it keep her from attending those events
and getting to know the boys' friends; and
she never once complained "it's not fair."
She was the only parent to be so involved
who also gave her children the freedom
to grow up at indie rock shows and staying out
late at night. "Just wake me when you get in,"
she'd say, "so I don't wake up worried."
She worked and cared for 3 sons, who
went on to become 3 successes--who
had 1 parent to thank for everything.

This poem is sappy and personal and the kind of poem many serious poets would attack as not poetry. I would seriously dispute any such claim. I agree that this is not "publishable poetry," but it is still poetry. Just because a poem is not meant for The New Yorker or The Atlantic, it doesn't mean that it's not a poem--or even that it's not a good poem. For instance, this poem really helped remind me just how thankful I am for my mother and how much she means to me. And when I read it to her tonight, I know she'll realize just how much she means to me as well. So even though this poem is only intended for an audience of 2--it scores a 100% for those two. Don't value your poetry solely off your publication credits and rejection slips; by writing and sharing your writing, you are doing something great. For real.

I'm sorry; I'm totally rambly and sentimental this morning/early afternoon. :)


Some quick notes: First, I'm going to be visiting my grandmother in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, area this weekend. She doesn't have a computer; and I've never tried locating the Internet down there--so my posts this weekend may be a bit on the inconsistent side. I'm going to try and keep them coming in the mornings though.

Second, due to popular request, I'm going to randomly provide posts with poems that I've particularly liked from each day's prompt--probably grouping a few prompts together. So on Monday, I'll see if I can get that first batch together.

Third, I'm very thankful to all of you who've been participating in this challenge with me. Your responses have totally overwhelmed me (in a fantastic way). Let's keep at it!


The 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 WD Poetry Awards!


Your Story #113

Write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photo prompt. You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

E.J. Levy: When Your First Draft is Your Best Draft

E.J. Levy: When Your First Draft is Your Best Draft

Author E.J. Levy discusses her journey with drafting and redrafting her historical fiction novel, The Cape Doctor, and why her first draft was her best draft.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 569

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write an "In the Name of Blank" poem.

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover Reveal

The July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest features a collection of articles about writing for change plus an interview with Jasmine Guillory about her newest romance, While We Were Dating.

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Debut novelist Lacie Waldon discusses how her agent encouraged her to write what she knew, but then her editor made her realize that what she thought was boring might not be the case.

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use pedal and peddle with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Debut author Marissa Levien discusses how she always knew what the beginning and the end of her science fiction novel The World Gives Way would be, but that the middle remained elusive.