Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Poem a Day for April

April is National Poetry Month and my friend Vince Gotera (see his very cool blog at http://vincegotera.blogspot.com/ ) turned me on to Robert Lee Brewer's blog "Poetic Asides," http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/, where Brewer is posting a prompt each day so that those of us who choose to (and I think it's a great idea) can get some help warming up and flexing our literary muscles. This is my poem for yesterday, April 3;  the prompt was to imagine a world without you.

A World without Me

In a world where I was never born,
for starters, my parents would not have needed a babysitter,
my father, who would not be my father after all,
untempted by her sweet pink Barbiedoll flesh,
might have stayed married to
my mother, who was not my mother but might have been,

The world would be missing a few more people too,
not just the babysitter’s child, my unacknowledged sister.

If I hadn’t been I would never have been sixteen,
or had a boyfriend, so the I who did not exist
would not have seen him drive past the picnic area at the lake
with another girl, on their way to a wedding where he was an usher
and she a bridesmaid, and that non-existent girl who didn’t see them
would not have thrown his class ring into the lake
--or had it to throw--

or flipped him off and thrown the ring in his face when he came back
(her best friend’s little brother having dived in and recovered it),
he would not have sought comfort in the arms of the minister’s
daughter, and she would not have gotten pregnant,
not just then, anyway, and
they would not have gotten married and had four children altogether.
He would not have left her after the second one to try going back
to the me who never was and, failing that,
returned to her and had two more.

Later they who were not they
but strangers who perhaps would never meet
would not have bought the market where he worked
or introduced natural foods and better wine
to that corner of Idaho, and so it would have remained
a far less civilized place without me,
as would some other places, perhaps,
though by then I, even if I had existed,
would have been long gone. 

There are undoubtedly many other sites that offer writing prompts. Here are just a couple more:
from Poets and Writers Magazine will send you an email every week with a new poetry prompt and a new fiction prompt;
Toasted Cheese online literary journal and writing community, http://www.toasted-cheese.com, offers exercises, daily writing prompts, quarterly writing contests, and more.

As the KIngston Trio (I think) sang long ago, 
     You've got to prime the pump, 
     You must have faith and believe,
     You've got to give of yourself 
      'fore you're worthy to receive.
     Drink all the water you can hold, 
     wash your face to your feet.
     Leave the bottle full for others.
     Thank you kindly, Desert Pete

Maybe some of the prompts offered by the generous folks at these sites will offer what you need in order to prime your pump. Happy April!

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