The Game (Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 201)


Initiation came holding hands in a circle,
a ring around the rosy, jumping up
with numerals in our shrill voices.

Soon, we made sport of picking teams,
leaving someone at the end
of the sequence, racking up the score.

Then we grew and learned to get even
with the odd ones,
broke them one by one,
two by two, and told them, “It’s just a game.”

The training was exquisite. 

Now, we encircle tables
and call them board rooms,
a ring of thorns and rotted roses,
declaring victory over the numbers game.

I didn’t work out today, but this prompt was enough to spark this creative exercise. Give it a shot! Write a numbers poem.

You may recognize the first two stanzas as traditional childhood games, but the third is a loose “translation” of a Jamaican game I used to play when I was younger. Read a few of the video’s comments to learn more.

Writing this poem inspired me to the challenge of writing in patois, which I have done (infrequently) in the past. A little cultural perspective changes the flavor of words.

What do you think of the poem?


April PAD 9: Shady


An unbroken dawn shields
her as she labors to market
with a bucket balanced
on her head—a bizarre
balance as her hips sway
to the rhythm of her sandals
against the gnarled road.

Watched by a hooded figure
in underground style armor
with his flighty glances
and nervous movements,
she hikes up the waist
of her skirt exposing the lace
hem of her slip, unaware
of the stare she now begs.

From birth she has been unfettered
by the looks she gathers,
but she hurries toward the square
with only one fear—that her stall
may be taken. Cigarette ashes
hit the mud as the figure
eeks past, at last in step
with her journey.

He stops short before
his approach grew louder
than her humming, realizing
that he is more afraid of her thoughts
than she is even aware of him.

Prompt: Write a shady poem.

All caught up! I am getting tired of my school work taking precedence over the fun writing. I still have another paper to write tonight but I am enjoying this reprieve from research.