Reverie Eleven Prompt

The title of this prompt form Joseph Harker is ‘not enough time. The short version is for a poem about an event, without actually describing the event, just include periphery non-significant activities. Also include time elements. Read the prompt on Joseph’s site, much more info (more intelligibly presented). Here is my take, going with the attitude (from either Joseph or Margo) that they are all drafts! And this one feels rough. I will leave a comment as to what event is being described in case I left it too vague.

Out of Time

A decent meal had been hard to come by,
but not something we were interested in,
more an excuse for an hours escape.

He and I had talked more, about more,
than in any previous visit. The result of
close proximity and avoidance of greater
issues. Politics we agreed on, religion we
had always skirted. He seemed pleased
when I knew the verses to refute his claims,
or at least that I was not a blind follower.

He had been home for a couple of showers,
but had only slept there for a few hours since
we arrived. We took care of the dogs until he
kenneled them, too much trouble he said. We
did manage the laundry and collecting the mail.

Hours upon days of beige sterility and forced
cheer begged for a few minutes outdoors, the
plants in the room not being of sufficient color.
Maryland retained most of it’s green in late
September, speckles of Fall allowed to creep in.

She was never present, but refused to leave
until I was out of time and could wait no more.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

7 responses to “Reverie Eleven Prompt

  1. Two and half years ago we got the call from my Dad that the doctors had said to call in the family. Mom had been fighting cancer for five years, but it was still sudden and unexpected. Chemo and radiation finally beat her. My wife and I flew in from Atlanta. She was coherent for about 30 minutes after we arrived but miserable; she was sedated after that. What the doctors said could be any minute turned into five days; the day after I said my goodbyes and had to go back home to my children. This piece is some of that time (a small portion) at the hospital that week with my Dad. Mom had just turned 65.

  2. I found the notes essential, and went back and re-read your poem with understanding. That was a terrible time for you. I had a similar situation with my father, so I know where you’re coming from.

    • I did keep thinking there was more detail that needed to be added, or perhaps go the other way and just focus on the conversations, narrow it down.

      • I was able to understand what this was about the first time through. I think going through the same experience helped me recognize it in your poem. Flowers in the room, her slipping away when no one was present… you caught it well.

  3. Funny how we take away different things from a first reading. I didn’t need the notes, knew almost from the start the significant event. If you do decide to add, I don’t think you want to bring the significant into the conversation. The focus is supposed to be the insignificant, with the significant in the background.

    Maybe look closely at word choice. ‘Relief’ instead of ‘excuse’ in the third line, for example.

    I like the bones of the poem. I very much like the last two lines.

    • I like ‘bones’. It feels structured but needs life. Probably more taking and moving than adding. It is breathing for a while I think. The subject can still only be attempted in short doses.

      Thanks for the input as always. And it is interesting what people see on first read. I read some of the comments I get and wonder what poem they read. 🙂 that does give me a feel of how far off I am though, so it is al good.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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