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Tidal Pool


Sliver fish catch the light, flash copper and gold

like tossed coins. Sea urchins close up in

our shadows, starfish rearrange themselves

into constellations of that other, shallow sky,


become Boy With Baggage, Girl With Grief.

See, there’s the orange suitcase he carries,

and the pink husky’s tongue as it licks

the girl’s hand and urges her home.


Signs are everywhere. This one says:

Do Not Wish In Our Fountain

Coins Are Bad for Creatures

Give Your Wishes to The Stars Instead


The way you take my hand

holds nothing anymore. Even sand,

wet and heavy as a million small worlds,

gravitates away, falls to earth.


Between the movement of the constellations,

tides try again only to fall back.

Copper and silver planets circle, tossed by

duty and love and gravitational pull.


Notes: I’m not sure that I accomplished the prompt per se — I’m a narrative poet by nature, so to do without a narrative is not an easy thing for me. My mind creates stories in everything, even this word or that one. Stories are like clear paths in the woods that I can’t help but follow. I love prompts like this though, the way they stretch me far beyond my boundaries, both as a writer and as a person. (Also, as a segue — I can NOT figure out how to single-space my poetry in WordPress — suggestions most welcome!)

Read today’s prompt by Sage Cohen (as well as the inspiration beyond poem-a-day) over at Not Without Poetry. My goal is to write a poem each day in less than 20 minutes, and without additional revision beyond the writing experience.