PAD 2021 – Day 11

Working from two prompts today: the Writer’s Digest challenge to write a poem including a prime number, and the vague but interesting 30/30 prompt, “tomorrow today.” Apologies for sappiness, but that’s the way I get about my kids.

At Eleven

Our heads are together and I can smell
citrus shampoo in her still-damp hair,
toothpaste on her breath when she tells me
I’m worried about growing up. I know it’s not 
so-much the body she inhabits, the lengthening limbs
and widening nose, that brings on this 
mental weight, but the bigger world.
The thing I have no explanation for.
The thing I too feel the press of, and understand
that at eleven, she can already sense the
goodness of childhood sullying,
the way a frenzy of expanding bubbles
start to pop and fade the minute the water
stops. Inevitable slide into something new,
that will contain so much greatness, yes,
but also expose harsher truths. Tomorrow things, 
seen without sheen or shadow disguise.
I cannot admit
that I too worry about her growing up,
not because I lack faith in her, but because I
know it’s harder to walk once you notice 
what you’re carrying. And I want to shoulder it for her
as long as I possibly can.

PAD 2017 – Day 19

The Writer’s Digest prompt today asked for a poem based on a memory. I think memory has a huge part to play in many poems, but my specific stroll was influenced today by the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a creation myth poem. While not a creation myth, the idea did help me recall a specific moment in the creation of my family.



At the hospital so many nurses telling us

to keep her warm on our naked chests.

It’s important for Dad too, the older nurse

said, unwrapping her from her swaddle,

and setting her in your arms.

Sapped of energy, bleary-eyed

you somehow pulled off your yellow t-shirt

with one hand, held our daughter tight

with the other. I shifted over in my bed,

making room for the two of you.

You  touched her downy head

then whispered in my ear

Where else could she possibly fit,

except right up here by our hearts?


Today’s Alberta poet is Kris Demeanor, Calgary’s first Poet Laureate. Here he is performing an electric spoken word piece from a a few years ago.

PAD 2017 – Day 11

Oh, sonnets. I really do love a good one, both classic and modern.  And I really, really can’t write one. But no better time than the poem-a-day challenge to try new things. Here’s my treacle-filled (kids will do that to you) take on today’s Writer’s Digest prompt to compose a sonnet:


To Our Girl


You arrived on a sunlit summer day

Lilac morning, soft after howling night.

Round eyes alert, learning how to convey

the bliss of being, the journey to light.

How soon we knew you, felt our hearts entwine.

Yet the fear took hold, snaked under our skin,

the burrowing worry passed through blood lines.

How we learned to nurture, let you begin.

The temptation to cling, to hold you tight

but you leap into a world uncharted.

Each time you return, touched by delight,

imagination sparked, independence started.

Seven years of wonder, watching you grow.

All we’ve discovered, so much yet to know.


Sometimes a sonnet by name is no sonnet at all, yet tries to be more. I’m posting this, “Sonnet #1” which is really not the best thing famed Alberta poet Robert Kroetsch ever wrote. Why post something “meh” by a man who wrote so many wonderful things? Because it makes me feel better to know that great writers still produce bad writing from time to time. And I still think it’s fun poem.