12 Prompts

Write of the fire that swept
through your gut and what it asked or took;
of the first thing you thought and the last
that you spoke before what changed you;

write what you were at ten, at seventeen,
at twenty, now; and the sounds of weather
and trees in the towns you passed through.
And tell of the smells in the streets

and the tastes that burnt your lips
and your tongue, of the eyes that locked
onto yours as you walked through a door
before you turned and the world

turned with you. Tell of the first time
death came to touch the linens in the room,
how it stained with blood and fluids
all the maps engraved in the wood

of the floor; write who it was
that scrubbed till the heart ceased
with its stubborn weeping and grew
a shell of echoes. Write

of the omens you read in the field
as the sunlight burned and the frogs
lay in stupor in the ditch; how a seam
split the earth as you buckled to your knees

till the trembling passed. Tell of the stars
that reeled and spooled overhead, how they swung
their censer then as they do in a widening arc:
shadowing your steps, night after endless night.

2 Replies to “12 Prompts”

  1. I love to look at morning porch and occasionally I get a chance to read a poem you’ve done through a prompt from Dave Bonta. I read your poem today and had to tell you how much I admired the writing. The energy of the poem reminded me a lot of the work of Seamus Heaney, one of my favorite poets.

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