NaPoWriMo – Day 4

The Poetic Asides prompt today asked for a “case” poem, and focused on the importance of nouns in poems, especially when trying to convey an abstract idea. I’m not sure what I wrote here actually meets either of those challenges, but maybe. I saw a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s briefcase, circulating online today because of the 50th anniversary of his assassination. The short poem came quick as a response. A few words that can in no way encompass all the emotion inspired by one photo.


still-open briefcase

it’s the hairbrush that gets me.
too personal. like knowing the particular
cadence of a heart when your
ear’s pressed against a bare chest.

the newspaper, read and reacted
or kept for a later, quiet moment,
bare feet up on the sofa, giving in
to the heavy pull of rest.

but the book, tucked there like a message
in a lunchbox. don’t forget. I’m thinking of you.
still. it takes strength to love, true, but it’s there.
a second after the shot or fifty years later,
when you need it most.