PAD 2022 – Day 8

I have been a day ahead all week, not on my poems, but in my mind. But today actually is Friday.

Had to get the poem done early, because of other things that have to be done, so it’s short again. If I had more time (or when I do!) I would try the NaPoWriMo prompt calling for poets to name your alter-ego, and then describe him/her in detail. Then write in your alter-ego’s voice. Maybe your alter-ego is a streetwise detective, or a superhero, or a very small goldfinch. It sounds fun and creative.

Instead I’ve gone with the 30/30 prompt “roadside distraction,” which is also the title of the poem.

Roadside Distraction

The way a mother moose,

bold against a frozen

ditch pond, a snowy field, a colourless sky,

stands with head tilted back,

waiting for her awkward calf

to stagger its new legs across the ice.

If I could stop to take their photo,

I would — tourist imposing on quiet nature —

but in the backseat, you sleep fever restless,

hair stuck to sweaty forehead,

red cheek pressed against the window,

trusting me — for a long time yet —

to get you somewhere comfortable

and safe.

Photo by KoolShooters on

PAD 2019 – Day 7

Pulling another prompt two-for with Poetic Asides call for a “jealous” poem, and the NaPoWriMo suggestion to write a poem about “gifts and joy.”

On three hours of sleep


How jealous am I of the gifts a sunrise offers?

I’m green like the grass, wishing I could rise so triumphantly.

No birdsong in my croaky first words.

No glisten of dew around my puffy eyes.

Yet I awake to a home zinging with energy,

the rhythm of quick footsteps, uncontained giggles,

and a cat willing to exchange a nuzzle

for the sound of a can opening.

I’m envious of the Sunday morning slumberers,

shrouded in warm quilts and undisturbed dreams.

But I am here. Now. Doing. Experiencing.

Reminding myself that present is a wonderfully loaded word.

PAD 2019 – Day 4

Today I combined the Poetic Asides prompt to use an artist’s name as a title, with my local Stroll of Poets prompt to make a “10 Things” poem. I’ve always been inspired by Monet’s art, and especially love the “Camille Monet et un enfant au jardin” painting (image below). As I’ve aged, I have come to see the painting differently than I once did.

10 things about Monet’s “Mother and Child”


It’s the flowers I always remember.

The beauty in shades of red, and all the white that suggests an ideal day.

The mother is Monet’s wife, Camille.

No one else appears in his paintings as often as Camille.

The Child is only identified as “Child.”

I imagine the texture of the grass, the feel of Camille’s dress, the softness of the child’s hair.

I wish I knew what book the child looks at.

I see my  own mother in Camille, never attending to just one thing.

I stare at the faces of mother and child, obscured in indistinct brushstrokes.

I wonder why it’s the flowers I always remember.

poem: Footpath


Inside me she kicked

tiny, newly formed feet

firm against womb wall

and up into my ribs

when she floated

upside down


In bed, between us

she flings her legs in slumber

and doesn’t wake

when her feet hit our backs,

bellies, heads, when she ends up


We are too tired to protest.

Maddening at 3 a.m.

and forgivable by dawn

when we roll over and see her

rosebud mouth

suspended in half-smile

of contented sleep.


She kicks at her little sister

when fury hits

and then, later,

a boy on the playground

who threatens her sister.


She connects with soccer balls

easily now. Proud in new sneakers

that light up when she runs

alongside other girls

and boys.


I worry about school.

Will she have it in her to quash

playground taunts?

Stomp out frustration

over answers that don’t come easily?


She is a girl now.

My girl.

And I know there will be

a lot of kicking left to do

before she is a woman.

When she is a woman.


Doors to kick.

Habits to kick.

Ideas to kick around

while she figures out

who she wants to be.

There will be kicks to the teeth

that rattle her for years.

And kicks in the ass

that help her move

when she’s stuck.


It’s kick or be kicked

at every stage.

And I want her to remember

as she is kicking the mud from her boots

that it will be a dirty, hard path.

But she has it,

the strong legs, strong heart, strong mind.

To get her through.