PAD 2022 – Day 21

Today’s prompt is exactly the kind I love, because it got out of my usual poetic paths. Inspired by poet Betsy Sholl, the prompt asks you to write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.

What I wrote is still a work in progress, but I will share these lines:

Have you ever seen Frida Kahlo’s What the Water Gave Me? The scar across the right big toe?

The strange and intricate renderings of life and death? A maze of tendrils and shoots,

invading — the bathwater and perhaps her skin? Sometimes you feel like this to me —

What the Water Gave Me, Frida Kahlo, 1983


November PAD – Day 17

Today’s prompt asked for a “What I meant to say” poem. I recycled/added to an older poem I had started,  because it seemed to fit the prompt quite nicely.


No one ever believes the unwatched candle will burn down the house. Or things not said can turn to tumours. In his garden, knees to the dirt, the sting of thistle on his thumb, he remembers why he started that kiss all those years ago. Remembers the why, not the kiss itself. Heat beneath her maroon sweater, but not her tongue. Something festers. Some things fester for the better, he used to think. Last he heard, she was living in California. He wonders if she’s growing anything other than older.