I’m not sure I have settled on the title of this poem–and the title is the whole source of the prompt.  I thought I would try to get away with writing something that started to come to me last night as I was trying to fall asleep, and then just tacking a somewhat appropriate adjective on top for the title.  The prompt is to take an adjective and make it the title of the poem, and then write a poem to match.  Since the poem was about the inside of my head, I named it “Thoughtful,” but it seems to be thudding a little.

Some days
this room is filled with monkeys,
grabbing, jabbing, jabbering,
racing from place to place in this space.

There is no room in this room
to think.

But thinking is all this room is meant for.

Some days
the room is empty
except for a quiet stream that runs through it.


Sometimes when the room has gone quiet
and I am looking out the window,
I see the little white cat
lying in a patch of bright orange day lilies,
dying among the day lilies.

Sometimes there’s a knock on the door
and a sonogram technician
with kind but guarded eyes says:
“I’ll send the doctor in to talk about the sonogram.”


Every day the birds fly through:
the whirr and whistle of the dove’s wings,
the flip and bustle of the chickadees and wrens,
the bluebirds curious and concerned–
and all manner of chitters and chatters and calls.


One day, there was nothing
but a table, and on the table
a bowl with crimson glaze
and a pattern of twisting snakes,
an intricately spiraled snail
making its methodical way
round and round the rim.


Gratitude List:
1. The pair of red-winged blackbirds who sat in the little walnut tree and watched me gather the yarrow stalks from the perennial bed.  Just before they flew off, he gave us a happy screen-door whistle.  Also, first chipping sparrow I have seen this spring, and a shy little stutter in the chestnut tree.
2. Mockingbird has been around all winter, but he’s just started his irrepressible cacophony of a thousand languages.
3 .Hawk–redtail, maybe?–hovering over a field, about to grab a small thing in the weeds.
4. Grandmother’s wisdom is alive and well in the hearts of teen-aged boys.  I have a bad case of laryngitis.  Two different boys today suggested that I drink honey lemon tea.  Interestingly, they’re from different parts of the world: one from the US and one from Ethiopia.
5. Over supper of sweet potato quesadillas, the cosmological conversation of children:

“I learned something new today at school.  No, actually I made it up.  To God, this land looks soooooo tiny, like this, like a piece of dust.”

I swear we are not teaching them this stuff.

And, in response to that, Other Brother said: “Did you know that at any moment there could be another universe right next to us?”


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