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  • Celia Jenkins

NaPoWriMo 2024 - Day Sixteen

Prompt: Today, we challenge you to write a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does. The “surprise” ending to this James Wright poem is a good illustration of the effect we’re hoping you’ll achieve. An abstract, philosophical kind of statement closing out a poem that is otherwise intensely focused on physical, sensory details.


Windowsill


Speckled with mould,

the windowsill

holds up the detritus

of my everyday life:

Scissors and cellotape,

box of paperclips,

pens and pencils

(some of them completely impractical,

shaped like twigs,

quills,

a ruler longer

than anything

I'd want to measure)

all of them

lodged in a cup

which I love

but with a broken handle

and a dangerous crack.


The picture of my daughter,

laughing, that I don't

have room for on my desk.

Loyalty cards

for coffee shops

I never go to.

Screen cleaner.

A single-use

dehumidifier,

the white beads

slowly

disappearing as it

fills with water.


The badge for a comapny

I no longer work for,

a USB stick

full of who knows what.

Two hand-knitted mittens

that I made, years ago,

and use for typing in the winter.

All this, grouped on the windowsill.

And outside, through the glass,

the neighbors I abhor,

their lives so chaotic.

***

I don't think I really hit the brief on this one - the last line has a feeling more of irony than of being unrelated yet related to the overall theme, but anyway. I gave it a go!


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