“Surviving 1930 or 2130”

DAY 14 PAD Challenge

I realize I skipped posting a poem yesterday. Some prompts just don’t motivate me or maybe I’m just a bit lazy at times. I’ll post yesterdays tomorrow or maybe another day but for today the prompt was to write a doomsday poem, however you
interpret that.

“Surviving 1930 or 2130”

Your poetry curtains, loose and rusty, are held closed with stiff wooden
clothespins and you recite to the infant in a bassinette, brushing her
hair with your fingers, your nightdress dragging on the floor, frozen toe
poking out the slipper hole.

To fill that loneliness you let the baby squeeze your finger, that’s what
babies are for, all ten of them, to fill the hole. She said she loved them
but she was just being polite. Two rounds of empty dinner plates at the

kitchen table, chairs warmed up for the second shift, bits of bread and
spider legs between the slats of the floorboards. They don’t last long.
Back then the tablecloth held wonders, now just a gravy stain from years

gone by in the shape of Tennessee because you couldn’t resist flipping
Jack’s spoon after grace was said. Mama bought that cloth from the Ben
Franklin bag sale. She had wanted a swinging fan but you can’t make the

thing work with no electricity. Somehow a compact had made its way into
the bag and she had to explain that to Pops when he asked for the receipt.
He told her it was a cockamamie story—beauty has no place in our lives

now. Give all those hands something to do, Mama. But he couldn’t see those
hands had chosen for themselves, some chose good and some chose bad.

The good ones knew her love,

The bad ones knew her secret.

(photo: stock.xchng. bjearwicke)


“Canvas coal trousers and a bourbon”

Day 5
Yes, this is a marathon and I’m already feeling the stress of writing a poem a day. For some, they just spew them off like rockets but for me it’s a long process of feeling. Today we had to reach back into history–something before our time and since I’m sorting through geneology stuff on my living room floor, this was fresh on my mind.
So, before my time there was . . .

“Canvas coal trousers and a bourbon”

Holy Petersen what did you think
with two dead babies upon your
coal thick trousers, soot apron
around your neck, two babies
a sick one a drown one and
your washerwoman wife
scrubbing you out
have you no pride
or nothing left to
give to little Alice
who waited for a smile
who lived poor and low
watching those two glass
rocking two blue
babies between ‘em
on your coal cold
lap while you
awaited death
of her.