The NaPoWriMo prompt for today asked poets to scroll through the photos posted on the Liminal Spaces Twitter feed and choose one to write about. There are many interesting and strange photos there, but this is one that sparked something for me. The poem is still a bit liminal too…on the verge…and not yet arrived here.
Today’s attempt is another prompt two-for-one, combining the Poetic Asides call for a “future” poem, with the NaPoWriMo challenge to use a line, a phrase or word from a Twitter poetry bot as inspiration for a new poem. I used the pinned Tweet from @SylviaPlathBot, which just seemed to mesh perfectly with a future prompt and my own actively anxious state of mind.
It starts with a line from a Syliva Plath
I am not ready for anything to happen
yet I feel like I’ve been preparing my entire life.
Have you? We’re in this together, whether we like it
or not, but we didn’t walk the same path to get here.
We haven’t compared exit strategies. Worry
is a cruel teacher. Makes you a master of stasis,
mulling every kind of future, gluing yourself
to some version of a past. So little left for now.
If you can, imagine the frigid waters of a murky river
— one you will need to get across —
but that current, so tenacious.
Rabid dog crush of water that will not release you
from its teeth. I confess, since this started with her,
that I’m having a hard time remembering the shore.
Can you? Do you see it? Are the poplars still there?
The grassy cliffs? That spot where the mallards
gather in spring? Tell me it’s all still the same,
that nothing has or will happen. Tell me our limbs
will never tire from treading all this water.