Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #449: Learning (Blank)

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Learning Survival

She had lost almost everything once,
and so she lived
everyday
as if there was someone
or
something
out there,
ready to take it all away.
And because she took nothing
for granted,
she never procrastinated—
always feeling that if she wasn’t ahead,
she was behind.
It was so easy to forget things,
for so much was on her menu
that was added to daily.
Yet she found that by living this way,
although
physically and mentally—
yet never spiritually—
exhausting,
made her better,
her quality of life better,
for she could eat what she wanted sometimes.
Yes, she’d rather work 60 hours a week
and lose her sanity,
but preserve her security,
however temporary.
And the time that she wasn’t working,
trying to make it all happen,
she spent enjoying that which had not yet
been
taken
away.

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Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #448: Chore

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Hymn of Motherhood

(for all the “Tullies” out there)

For Mama Mia,
motherhood was a never-ending spin cycle—
of scraping dried spaghetti off plates
or off the floor,
wiping spit-up from faces,
throw-up out of sheets,
& sometimes poop or pee,
& even poopy pee.
It was poop in the bathtub.
It was cooking hamburger casseroles for dinner
& baking cupcakes for play-dates.
It was cold cereal & spilt milk
& crying for no reason
& laughing for the same.
It was yelling for a multitude of reasons.
It was vacuuming the rugs
for the creeping crawlies in onesies
& the toddling twos in their missing left socks.
It was reading the same stories over & over—
like binge-watching Groundhog Day
limiting her own screen time to set an example,
& sharing her chocolate to show that sharing was good.
It was hiding in the bathroom to check her e-mail or
in the closet to nosh on a frozen white chocolate KitKat
& not feeling guilty for saying no when she needed a dose of
I Love Lucy to unwind.
It was letting them see her read books,
so they would know she did it for herself
& not just for them.
It was giving them what they needed,
but not always what they wanted.
It was making time to play with them
& knowing when to leave them to their own (non-electronic) devices.
It was saying thousands of “I love yous” before
getting even one back.
It was sticky hands & dirty feet & boogies God knew where.
It was one dish left of a set.
It was showing them the world
but not showing the world, them.
It was teaching them about Heaven &
the God who created it in a way
they could
understand.
It was trying to keep their memories alive
of those who’d loved them,
but they would never remember.
It was putting locks on doors, cabinets, cupboards.
It was trying to remember so much &
having to be so aware.
It was a life sentence of worry.
It was not believing in spanking,
& yet,
promising never to spank again.
It was comforting after disciplining.
It was, when Daddy pissed her the hell off,
letting her temper freeze over when it wanted to boil over.
It was forgiving Daddy for pissing her the hell off.
It was remembering the day when she used to look at harried mothers,
feeling sorry for them,
& knowing now that she had become what she had once vowed
she would never become.
It was a constant unscrambling of the brain.
when interrupted because of the need for attention.
It was a distracted drive through life &
staying up far too late to get some alone time.
It was yearning for her pre-baby body in her post-baby life,
wondering why the silhouette in the mirror disappointed her,
for she’d been running,
it seemed,
since the day they were born.
It was everything she had ever wanted &
more work than she had ever thought it would be.
It was teaching them all the things they really needed to know
before they ever got to kindergarten;
it was learning to know when to ask for help
so that she could care for herself as well
as she cared for all of them.

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Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #446: Cooking

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The Baker’s Manifesto

Betty Botter was a lousy cook,
but a swell baker,
for working with butter, sugar, flour, & eggs
was easy as pie,
a piece of cake,
a ginger snap even.
Throw chocolate chips into the mix,
& she was unstoppable.

The feel of raw meat made her sick,
& whoever referred to their kiddo
as Bacon or Hamburger?
It was always Cupcake or Sweetie Pie,
just as wretched men were pigs,
women, cows,
& dumbasses of both sexes were sheep—
mooing, oinking, bleating meat.

What’s more,
the smart cookies knew when
to shut their pieholes & cakeholes,
& stick a baguette in them,
for it was better to eat carbs
than to part your lips
& say something stupid.

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Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #445: Special Day

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Krystal Ball’s Daily Dose of Snake Oil

Virgo (Virgin, or so she claims)
(Aug 23-Sep 22)

Salutations and congratulations!  Today is your special day!  There may be rain heading your way, but you won’t let it pour on your parade, because your sunny personality (whether hidden under an umbrella or out there for all to see like the light side of the moon) will not be dampened.  Yin is out and Yang is in!

Your longing for love has been realized; a love story is writing itself—your self-love story!  Your soulmate is getting hot, hotter, but you are already on fire; if you haven’t met this kindred spirit already, perhaps it’s as easy as looking into the mirror.

There are some important decisions to be made; whether big or small, what you choose will determine your future, if not present, happiness, so go with your gut (which operates optimally when full.)  Today is the beginning of the rest of your life!

Drink more water to your health, and you just might find yourself in the right place at the right time, or not at the wrong place at the wrong time.

A bit of good fortune is heading your way some day in the future, so be prepared by being there, like really there.  Live in the moment and not in your head, because it may pass you by if you’re not paying attention.

Something big is coming!

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Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #444: Four

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The Foursquare Gospel

Jesus Christ the Savior–
not the ghost of a mortal or a legend of The Fall,
but the earthly flesh and heavenly spirit
of an extraterrestrial,
who came to us a form we could
understand,
with words only some of us ever would–
words powerful enough to compel some to love their enemies
and others to hate their families.
This was true omniscience.

The Baptizer–
for asking others to do
what even He had to.
No ventriloquist, was He,
for the voice from Heaven
was as much His as the voice
from the clump of cells
that made up His body,
for if He was truly everywhere,
then in our cells,
He is also.
This was true omnipresence.

The Healer–
for hands that crafted cradles and
the crosses that would become
His temporary open coffin;
for garments, water, and clay
He turned healing and holy,
and blood that transmitted without needles,
with which He could save the worst of humankind.
This was true omnipotence.

The Coming King–
whose crown was as luminous as
the sun’s corona,
illuminating this Being who had
the mane of a lion and
the roar of a lamb and
a passion unmatched between any two lovers
at their heights.
Though even He knows not when to return
to this rocky world He lay his life down for.

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Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #443: Free

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The Navy Veteran’s Daughter

One day she’d hoped to be like her mom,
joining the Navy and serving her country.
When she found out, many years later,
that was not an option,
she realized that no mother could ever have it all,
because she couldn’t do it all.
As she worked her way through technical school,
writing her little stories in her free time,
she sacrificed her priceless time,
so that the time her family
would someday have with her
would be better time.

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Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #442: Ex

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The Extraterrestrial’s Condition

When all the stars gathered
for one big constellation party,
Cancer & Capricorn got into a Civil War;
Gemini, being Siamese, had it worse.
Leo & Taurus fought like a bull & a matador,
while Pisces–a rather cold fish–
bitched about Aquarius being
too fresh with his salty language,
finally going batfish insane,
flinging Scorpio into the Darky Way,
scaly & scabby from his incessant tail pinching.
Libra felt the weights of the universe on him,
hitching a ride on Halley’s Comet
to regain his equilibrium.
Sagittarius fancied himself as Cupid,
setting his arrow on Virgo,
until he found out from Ophiuchus
that horny Aries was more her type–
that her burgeoning lusciousness wasn’t from too many
Moonpie shakes at the Starlight Diner.
Even a loser in love like him had to admit that
it was a bad sign.

Note: Ophiuchus is the lesser-known, thirteenth sign of the zodiac.

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