NaPoWriMo – Day 26

Following the prompt today to write a poem using the five senses. Was a bit short on time due to traveling, but did get some sense memory inspiration to write this short poem.

Inserting Our Daughters Into Memories Again

Even when they’re not with us, before they even were,

we remember them. Today it was on a plane, the last

time we flew to our once-home. The stench of jet fuel

filling the back of the cabin on take-off — how we worried

it might induce our youngest’s asthma. The sweet taste

of cold orange juice on our dry throats — remember how

our oldest called it orandu? The high-pitched shrieks

of a toddler, three rows back, tired and scared  — we held

our girls, too. One on each of our laps. Their soft, warm

cheeks against ours as we intoned shh shh shh shh

like a prayer. And look, out the window. Those plush

clouds below. The sun’s spinning them into gold. Hurry,

take it all in before we blink and forget.


PAD 2017 – Day 10

Travel was the theme of the Writer’s Digest prompt today. I clicked on that just after reading about another airline debacle, and another instance of physical force being used before reason or communication. I watched the video of a man being dragged from a flight, and listened to the outrage by some of the passengers. Yet, like people often do in these situations — like I would probably do in this kind of situation — people mostly sat by and watched. Interesting how we as humans are sometimes aggressive when we should be calm, and passive when we should take action.

Fly the Friendly Skies


Origins come up on planes.

Where are you from?

Are you flying home?

Stories offered, across

an armrest or an aisle.

A three-hour community,

at least for this leg.

The way we all lick pretzel salt

from our fingers, smile politely

at young parents wearing

twins on their bellies,

take our eyes off our books,

iPads or phones when the attendant

stands to talk about oxygen.

We breathe this air together,

recycled and flowing .

We stay sitting together,

when one of us is picked.

Dragged off before take-off.


The Alberta poem I thought of today manages to put a smart, political spin on the thrill of traveling to a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Check out Edmonton writer Ben Freeland’s “New Orleans is Clawing at My Bones.”