PAD 2020 – Day 26

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was an interesting one, and could prove fruitful on days when I have more time. Still working on my draft for the CV2 2-Day poem contest, so the daily April poem is taking a bit of a backseat. But I did a little experimenting with the prompt, which asks writers to fill out an almanac entry for the day, then use it as a springboard for the poem. The almanac questions are listed above the poem, with my responses. Then the short poem I wrote below. Obviously I didn’t put all the responses in there, but it still ended up a little everything-but-the-kitchen-sinky.

Almanac Questionnaire

Weather: Crazy wind

Flora: tulips braving spring; blowing trees

Architecture: Bungalows

Customs: coffee; toast; news; try to write; more coffee

Mammals/reptiles/fish: 2 cats, 4 humans; a hurried house spider I met in the laundry room

Childhood dream: to be a teacher

Found on the Street: winter’s leftover grime

Export: grief – get it outta here

Graffiti: my daughters’ sidewalk chalk drawings

Lover: Thankfully, yes

Conspiracy: only my own self-sabotaging procrastination

Dress: black leggings and a Fight Evil With Poetry tee

Hometown memory: walking by the weir

Notable person: Justin Trudeau

Outside your window, you find: kids’ toys tossed about

Today’s news headline: Don’t rely on herd immunity to reopen economy: Tam

Scrap from a letter:doing better than expected…

Animal from a myth: unicorn

Story read to children at night: Charlotte’s Web

You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: a broken wine bottle; daffodils sneaking through fence boards

You walk to the border and hear: silence

What you fear: something happening to my kids

Picture on your city’s postcard: Broadmoor Lake

 

 

Whether Outside

 

Steady roar of wind, like the din of a moving ocean.

Out the window I see trees arced like waves, a loose strand

of Christmas lights left on the neighbour’s bungalow flapping against the roof.

I’d like to ask this belligerent wind whether it could carry my grief and anxiety away

with the clouds of street dust. Toss it around like my daughter’s pail of sidewalk chalk.

Clear my brain of all this worry rubble, thoughts mulled and twisted so often they’ve turned

to pebbles. The kind that find their way into your sandals when you walk down the alley,

searching for defiant tulips and daffodils who’ve snuck through fence boards. The kind that

distract you so much, you wonder whether you’ll ever see those flowers blooming again.

 

abstract background close up construction

Photo by Photo Collections on Pexels.com

poem: Hush

I’ve always been drawn to “moment poems.” They don’t have to be particularly profound or astute, as long as there’s enough rich language to bring me to the moment too. Even the word “moment” is alluring to me. The other day I had a rare moment of tranquility, where the only thing I needed to do was just be present, while my daughter slept. The peace of it wasn’t lost on me, and I tried to capture it here.

 

Hush

She’s fallen asleep in the car

not the gradual kind

but a crash into sleep

where one minute it’s protesting from the back

about the tightness of the seatbelt

and next she is silent

still, a tiny smile on her lips.

We can’t bear to move her,

know the shift and heft from seat

into our arms, no matter how gingerly

will rouse her, fast and unwilling.

He takes her sister inside

and I offer to stay, though I have no book

and don’t want the blare of the radio.

It’s starting to get hot now, the cusp of summer

and I crack open my door to let in the air.

I hear our tenant magpies

from their clever garage-roof vantage.

They always have so much to say.

I envy their passion for debate.

A neighbour, unseen but I’d guess two-houses down

is mowing a lawn, the buzz of the motor

becomes a comfortable constant.

I recline my seat, careful not to bump her legs

getting so much longer now

as they dangle behind me, one white shoe,

with hearts, hanging just from her toes.

I will shut my eyes too

can’t sleep, really, like this

but meditate or at least savour a moment

without demand.

A clatter from behind the car

when brittle leaves,

carcasses of fall, catch a breeze,

and scrape together across the

concrete. There is a pause, then a bolder blowing

that frightens them away under steps

and into grassy corners.

She’s a guardian wind, I think

protective of our quiet here

together. I keep my eyes closed,

do not stir

when she slips into the car

and whispers a lullaby

meant only for the two of us.