In April, I wrote a Ring/Drum/Blanket poem entitled "Inside the Fairy Ring" based on a challenge issued by Elaine Magliaro at Wild Rose Reader. Today's poem came from a similar exercise.
Back in June, I attended the Philadelphia Writer's Conference, and spent time in sessions with Bonnie Neubauer, author of The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing. During one of the sessions, Bonnie passed out a wallet-sized slip of paper containing a bunch of words. She calls it an "emergency generator." While waiting for M in the mall one day, I pulled out my generator and selected three words at random. The words were Alps, broccoli and apology. I jotted a draft of the poem at a table in the food court. Here's the "finished" version after several more passes:
They'd met in Europe on one of those
"see the world" post-college tours.
He was attracted to her hardiness,
her Stoic ability to carry a heavy pack
unassisted up the Swiss Alps.
She was lightheaded in the thin air,
giddy at open horizons, endless opportunities.
They talked of travel plans – tours through Africa,
all the places in Asia they'd see,
plans to partake of more than seven wonders.
Years later, stabbing in silence at Chinese takeout
chicken and broccoli in their windowless dining room,
she wondered how she'd come to this place—
a life without adventure. Each day
an apology, endlessly unfolding on itself.