Lots of times poets, and writers in general, have a few big themes they like to explore and they visit those themes over and over again – the wonder of nature, family relationships, LOVE, social justice, the impact of science and technology, etc. Sometimes, people who play with words and meaning and think deep thoughts need a little nudge to get the brains and pens flowing. Thus, the poetry prompt.
The internet is full of them. That’s all well and good. I occasionally enjoy a good prompt and, truth be told, for the last five years, I have spent one month writing and posting every day to themed prompts.
But, somewhere along this poetry journey I am on, a fellow writer described the purpose of poetry for her. To paraphrase, we writers use poetry as a way to examine life, to find its meaning with precision and brevity. I would add, to find a meaning in the most mundane things.
The poems that seem to come out of nothing – the morning walk through the neighborhood, the insects in the flower beds, the updating of an old piece of furniture, yes, old furniture – those are the poems that surprise me. Those are the poems I think I both need to write and am meant to write. To my delight, I found one of those poems this week (or it found me). I hope you, too, can be surprised with extraordinary poems out of the ordinary. Enjoy!
Plain Brown Objects
I have packed a truck and moved too many
times to allow heavy objects to hold more
meaning than utility
but this week, according to her plan,
my daughter and I painted the dresser –
the dresser that stood guard under slanting ceilings
of Papa and Grandma’s upstairs bedroom
the sturdy, brown, Army-surplus dresser
with one notch-cornered drawer
the dresser that waited for me
to return to my tiny, yellow room
every winter break, every spring break
the dresser I painted
raw silk and salmon
to welcome a baby girl and flying fairies
the dresser that cruised to Germany
and made a return trip adorned in stickers
the dresser that faced my sleeping girl
through every night of her life
and all she faced
My daughter and I sanded and stroked
each square inch of
Then, we coaxed it into place
and she filled it.
©2022, Marilyn Garcia
*OCONUS is military jargon which means “outside of continental United States”
Now, please visit the Poetry Friday roundup, hosted this week by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche