Friday, March 5, 2010


I wrote a poem yesterday afternoon, but I left it on my work computer, so I couldn't post it last night. It isn't very good. It's the result of a class assignment to write a poem with specific line lengths. I picked a pattern of syllables: 7-5-7-5-4-5. This is what I got (first draft). You can see how I just started playing with words that occurred to me; as the first two stanzas progressed, I found a direction. The title came last.

Washington in Fall

the telegram arrived
faster than a kite
bearing the news of peril
purple and discreet
Who sent that box?
His name extinguished

powder, sick perfume, alarm
rising like the moon
safe alabaster chambers
now cold fortresses
sweat on the brow
check is in the mail

I remember when they fell
I was sleeping well
someone woke me with a shout
all was turned around
How could this be?
Don’t know where to run

Mom, in the mountains, begged me
Come home now, honey
The mountains were not my home
City born and raised
Daddy’s daughter
Eyes closed to the sun

Papers falling, people I can’t
talk about, years later.
Just months hence, the sniper attacks
Zigzag to the car
Death at the Depot
No one has a home

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