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His and hers: a crime in two parts

Day 14. For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

  1. Write a sonnet or other traditional form poem. I specifically mention the sonnet, because it’s day 14 and the sonnet traditionally has 14 lines. But any other traditional form (villanelle, triolet, sestina, etc.) would work as well.
  2. Write an anti-sonnet or other traditional form poem. If you’re anti-form, good news! You can vent about it in a poem–or just write a poem that attacks form and structure of any kind (even beyond poetics). Anarchy poems?

His and hers: a crime in two parts



It’s not that hard to fit inside a box
Pretend, my dear, you’re playing hide-and-seek
(Though silly games are mainly for the weak)
Give in to rules, to schedules and to clocks
Obey the form and always sort my socks
You must behave, I like my women meek
No anarchy or other forms of cheek
Remember, please, what happened to Guy Fawkes

What are you doing with that dagger dear?
Did you think to cut my wisdom from your life?
You’re cute but let me help you understand
You’re clearly not as strong as you appear
You belong to me, my property, my wife
Oh! I am stabbed, this isn’t what I planned!


Watching your bitter smug
slip away
with your blood
into the gutter,
I remember the beatings,
the belittling, all the little
stings and strings
you used to hold me
too tightly.
I imagine Guy Fawkes
believed in himself
at least once before he died,
neck broken
like his plans, and I know
they’ll come for me, I know
I’ll hang, but at least “my dear”
I’ll finally swing

Emerald City / Albuquerque

Day 13. Prompt: pick a city and make that the title of your poem; then, write your poem. I wrote two again today.

Emerald City

Down in Emerald City
without the ruby red shoes
does one get the greens,
or is it still called the blues?

Since the little man fled
from behind the green curtain
did the monkeys move in?
It’s all so uncertain.

Down in Emerald City
where the grass is so green
maybe even the wicked
can blend in unseen.


In college, long ago, with the snow
high and our futures murky,
we imagined that in Albuquerque
our quirky selves could shine,
divinely free from that Buffalo humidity.

Now through decades of bad trades
and Rolaids it’s still sight-unseen, between
the lack of green and reasons why
we just got by, onto other things, lost our wings
and all we got was turquoise rings.


Day 12. Prompt: write a transformation poem. 

I’m covered in hidden fingerprints
the kind hot showers can’t wash off
although I still try after all these years

They lie in inky layers
beneath my skin like bruises,
each an entry in a database,

They are my shields in love and battle
but I would lay them down if only
I could spend just one day living and loving
my own skin.

just my luck and other unlucky poems

Day 11. Prompt: write an unlucky poem. My add: or three…

just my luck

I shouldn’t joke
about ladders and broken mirrors
I’m fairly certain
it’s been more than seven years

On being careful

We say be careful
as if care will keep us safe
from rotten stairs
and unwanted attention,
as if bad things don’t happen
unless we have it coming,
but usually it’s just a matter
of where we stand
in line for pizza or our choice
of nightclub or church
or the road we take
when we’re just trying
to find our way home.

I learned to duck

right before I learned to duck
he brought me to my knees
I always had the worst of luck
right before I learned to duck
I realize I was such a schmuck
until I met that sleaze
right before I learned to duck
he brought me to my knees

Out the window

Day 10. Prompt: write a going somewhere poem.

Galloping, galloping

faster than the wind

I rode my dapple-grey

(although some days

she was brown)

across golden fields

and through thick forests,

my face burning

from wind and thrill

as we raced to keep up

(and we always kept up,

we could not be beat)

with the green Chevy Impala

that carried my family

and towed our camper

from state to state

that summer.

What if I didn’t?

Day 9. Prompt: Title your poem (blank) if (blank). Then fill in the blanks – an IF poem.

Because I am a dreamer
I like to think about what ifs
but what if I didn’t?


Bonus poem: I wonder if you know

I wonder if you know
how I was once whole,
a mother through and through,
certain I’d found that one thing
I was good at, at last.

I wonder if you know
how close I’ve come to death,
how much nothing I’ve become,
now that I can barely call you mine
and you won’t call at all.

The puppy got my kaleidoscope

Day 8. Prompt: write a poem about a thing – a thing poem
I wanted to try a triolet, what a fun thing to do!

The puppy got my kaleidoscope
It’s damaged but it kept its views
It speaks to me of feathered hope
The puppy got my kaleidoscope
It can’t be fixed with paint or soap
But I’ll still wallow in its hues
The puppy got my kaleidoscope
It’s damaged but it kept its views

Bonus poem about nothing…

He says thoughts become things
but I am done with things I think
it’s nothings that I crave.


Day 7. Two-for-Tuesday prompt: 1. Write a days of the week poem, 2. Write a days of the weak poem.
I wrote three.

Each day is a gift

Sunday was topped with a bow
shiny silver paper inviting
reflection and hope.

Monday was behind the back
a quick surprise no time to wrap
while there were things to do.

Tuesday was a gift card
used without much thought
for practical household goods.

Wednesday was a flower
presented matter-of-factly
a small token of affection.

Thursday was a promise
more like an I-owe-you
remember patience is a virtue.

Friday was a red dress
slipped over silky skin revealing
at last it’s time to dance.

Saturday was slippers
friendly fuzzy fare
a lovely snuggle shared.

Rainy days and Mondays

On Monday, it rained and I thought
that’s what Mondays do best
as I shook the beaded droplets
from my new red boots,
the ones with the twill at the back,
and shivered my shoulders
into my black Mister Rogers sweater,
the one that’s unravelling slowly
after so many rainy days.


On the weakdays,
I wake up tired from
the tweets of surprise that
surprise me still because
how can you be surprised after
all this time and all our tears that
people are prey and pawns and
me too and me too and me too?

In praise

Day 6. Prompt: write a praise poem

In praise of sunny days
the scent of lavender
growing leggy in the field

Accolades for coffee cups
containing notes of chocolate
brimming with elixir

Glory to the voices
lifted in sorrow or in song
telling us their truths

Applause for opened doors
small simple kindnesses
and noticing each other

Dogs at the end of the world

Day 5. Prompt: write a self-destruct poem.

My dogs don’t care about the tweets.

Instead they sleep, the warmth of
their soft bodies curled and coiled
or stretched into impossibly long lines,
heads resting on carpets or blankets,
but ready always for the promise of treats
if we should even think of approaching the kitchen
during nap time.

To them the TV news is sound,
the blathering of self-important humans
with their fingers on the buttons reduced
to white noise. To static.

They don’t know war, or countries,
or creed, or intersectionality.
They have no gods or devils,
although, when awake,
they do take the utmost pleasure
in the crunch of dried leaves under their feet
and the magic of mud puddles.

At the end of the world, they sleep,
dreaming of squirrels slow enough to catch,
running through the wet grass,
long hikes in the deep woods,
and chickens in the pot.

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