aqua fortis

Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Year's Poetry Challenge, Day Three

What happened to Day Two? you ask. I didn't want to post it. It isn't that I feel like I wrote a terrible poem, but I definitely feel "meh" about it. However, I should note in the interests of continuity that the prompt was to write a poem about a house in which we grew up without using the words "house" or "home." This might be useful information, since I'm trying to write my poems in a loosely connected fashion. In order to encourage this (and just to set an arbitrary parameter), I'm also using the last word of each poem as the first word of the next one.

Anyway, today's prompt was: Write a poem for, about, or to Wendy Toftmyer. The qualification to this prompt was: "Note: I don't know any Wendy Toftmyers. I made up the name for the purposes of this prompt. So, apologies to any real Wendy Toftmyers who may be out there." Here's the result...again, bearing in mind that the last poem was (loosely speaking) about a childhood home.

Dear Wendy

Invisible ink in unnoticed hands
Will an invisible envelope still arrive?

I watched you swing too high
I watched you climb the oak tree
I watched you eat dirt

We haven't spoken in years.
I hardly spoke, even then.
You talked for both of us.

I did not eat the dirt
I climbed the tree with trembling legs
I swung close to earth.

Before I left the empty house
You stood quiet, both feet on the ground.
I never wrote.

I still have your necklace
An invisible heart in a box.

© Sarah J. Stevenson 2009

I think I wasn't sure whether to be autobiographical or not in Day Two's poem, which is why it's not really working. This one is not autobiographical, on the whole. I guess you could say it has some metaphorical or symbolic truth.

I'm also thinking I need to write funnier poems at some point in this process. It's all gloom and doom, or at least pensiveness, so far.


tanita davis said...

It's funny that your fiction brings out comedic elements but your poetry is dense.

I like this one. The poignancy of lost childhood friends... it's hard because at that stage you're not into deep declarations of how much someone means (heck, I'm not all that into them now), so you come and go and only remember them. But this is a good way to remember.