The penultimate day of the poem-a-day challenge! I liked today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, which asked writers to take a noun from a favourite poem, do some word association with it, then use it in a new poem. I went with a classic, T.S. Eliot’s “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Fun fact: it also happens to be the poem that inspired the name of this blog! Many interesting nouns in that one, but “sawdust” stuck out for me. It also combined well with today’s Writer’s Digest prompt to write a poem that uses the language, or a theme from, the metric system.
Watching you from the open window that summer,
grind and whine of the electric saw a soundtrack
as you worked to build our girls a play fort
drawn purely from your own imagination.
I saw the way your brow furrowed,
as you measured twice to cut once,
sometimes still ending up a centimetre off.
I saw the way your spine straightened, small smile
on your face when you made one piece
fit so perfectly into the next.
I knew when I married you that there were
depths I would get to discover years later, or maybe never.
Surprises that might reveal themselves gradually
in stories you told, or the way your eyes looked
when I told you mine. But I never expected that new tingle
on my lips, a whole seventeen years in, when you came
inside for a glass of water, and leaned over to kiss me,
the scent of fresh sawdust all over your skin.
My Alberta poem today is by Calgary writer Nikki Reimer. With a title like “I suppose the ideal basement tenant would be a quiet retiree in good health, partially deaf, with reclusive but not unpleasant habits. Maybe tenants like that are already all taken,” you have to know the rest of the poem will be filled with wonderful wordplay and wit. Some worldly wisdom in it too. Watch Ms. Reimer read it here.