Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for an “I remember” poem, in the vein of poet and artist Joe Brainard’s book-length poetic memoir I Remember. This Is Not A Literary Journal asked for another “word salad” prompt incorporating a list of random words. I decided to write a memory sentence for each word, to see if any theme emerged. I had twelve meandering memories, that I then pared down to this, using the words pocket, weep and lump from the list. I don’t think it’s complete yet, but it was an interesting exercise. I might even be able to grow other poems out of the discarded memories.
The brushed velvet softness
of the crumpled tissues
my Mom pulled from her coat pocket.
Once, I watched her weep without a sound,
after the call about the suicide, and wondered
how the deepest pains could be the quietest.
Later that year, visiting my uncle’s farm,
I poked a lump of hard dirt with a stick,
and stood rapt as dozens of sow bugs
erupted from its core.