Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #482: Brief


Dad’s Briefcase

Like Mama’s purse,
for Lyle & Lyla Ledbetter,
Dad’s briefcase contained all the secrets of adulthood:
the bundles of bills he called “Monopoly money,”
the dice without dots he called “sugar cubes for the mules,”
& the little bottles that looked like perfume samples–
“the stuff dreams were made of.”
For children,
life was not seeing
but rather,
not understanding what they were seeing.




Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #481: Writer


Ann M. Martin

Her books were a beloved part of my girlhood.
I remember she loved “I Love Lucy”
& looked like a schoolteacher–
that is, if Ellie Walker from “The Andy Griffith Show”
had taken Helen Crump’s place
before “Helen the Grump” had been written into existence.
I remember thinking her middle name just had to be Marie
because it fit her “That Girl” appearance.
I remember thinking that it must be the greatest job in the world
for one’s books to be adored by little girls all around the world.
I remember thinking of myself as an honorary Baby-Sitters Club member–
the one you never read about but existed nevertheless–
for I wasn’t shy around these girls.  
As I read her bio now,
I learn that she taught autistic children (I teach my own),
that she loved Roald Dahl
& wrote for her college newspaper,
that math was her least favorite subject
& that her fourth-grade teacher (third for me)
told her that she was a wonderful writer.
I think that maybe I liked this lady–
what little I knew from her blurb in the back all those years ago–
because I saw myself in her,
or saw in her,
what I hoped I might
someday become.


Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #480: Negative

The Digital Children

The heartrending images
of the prepubescent children
who were part of
the adult entertainment industry
would no longer be relegated
to the memories of the perpetrators
with the destruction of the negatives,
for with one click,
the eradication of their childhoods
could be viewed again and again.
But hey,
at least the perps weren’t involved
in a college admissions scandal.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 480

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #479: Weapon


Bad Hair Day

Vi’s weapons of mass seduction
were the talons she got filed & polished
every week,
but crimpers & curlers,
hair dryers & conditioners,
&, as a last resort,
a scrunchie with barrettes,
were her weapons of choice
when it came to fighting a bad hair day,
just as a rug was her hubby’s only choice,
as every day for him was a No Hair Day.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 479

Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #30. Theme: Stop/Don’t Stop #aprpad


The Pursuit of Happiness

Never stop pursuing your passion
because if you do,
it will always be a temptation
that will never be satisfied,
for any writer worth their saffron
will find the time—
even after time with family
& time with friends,
time at work
& time working out,
time with feeding the head
& time with feeding the mouth,
time spent sleeping
& playing
& running errands,
for those who love to write,
there will never be enough time,
but those lovers will make the most
of the time they have—
in the waiting times
& the lunch times,
in the television times
& the alone times—
the last of which they cherish,
for it is in that time
that they don’t feel like
they are taking it
from someone else
who needs it more.


Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #28. Theme: Remix #aprpad


A Truth Told as a Lie

When the hustle-bustle of the day died away,
and her cats had been put down for the night,
she poured out her frustration onscreen
through the filter of her stories,
as told in the third-person,
where she drafted the opposite of the fake memoir,
making her more of a truth teller
than the memoirists with their selective memories.