Prompt Six


Dear C,

Do you remember that day in Tofino,
the bent trees like old men watching
the tide roll in? We never thought we’d
reach that age, but here you are, ticking
away the years. I know we wouldn’t
have seen them together, having parted
ways earlier, but I still thought about

How we knicked down the path at Cathedral
Grove, you on my back, then me carving
our initials into the railing of the wooden
bridge, you smiling—as if preserving this
moment, forever. How we whispered, ‘I
love you’ in the back of your Dad’s old
Ford, then giggled like children for the
rest of the trip home.

Though my hospital stay was cut too short
and my new love unable to stay with me
that first day I convalesced at home, I need
you to know I didn’t suffer. I saw both of you
there, my first love and my forever love,
on either side of my bed, gently holding
my spirit, as I moved on.



15 thoughts on “Prompt Six

  1. oh my goodness, this is such a heart-wrenching poem. Thank you so much for sharing it. I loved the sense of the passage of time you create at the beginning (the men/trees bent over) joy and laughter in the central stanza which is stark contrast to that tragic ending.
    You really reached the prompt and gave more with this poem.

  2. Thank you, Katrina! I am grateful for this prompt because I didn’t expect this poem to come out of it and it was actually healing for me. I love the transformative power of poetry and when it is one’s own, it can be quite freeing! Hope you enjoyed or are enjoying the marathon!!!

  3. Beautiful poem. You could even generalize this (no C, no L) and this poem has such vivid brushstrokes to take the reader through to the powerful and touching ending. Thanks for writing!

    1. I honestly though I replied to you but it doesn’t seem to be here – maybe I sent it via email? In case you didn’t receive anything I wanted to thank you for your comments and I totally agree that I can drop the ‘names’ – I had them originally for the form but also because it allowed me a deeper level of healing. Now I can definitely let the C and L part of the poem go, knowing our names are deep inside me. I so appreciate your comments and thoughts!!

  4. The wording and imagery of this poem is so lovely and evocative: “the bent trees like old men watching // the tide roll in” and “you to know I didn’t suffer. I saw both of you // there, my first love and my forever love”. Gorgeous. It’s amazing how much emotion you were able to convey!

    1. Thank you!! I really appreciated this prompt for the places it took me emotionally (I had healing to do) and I am thrilled that the emotions came through on the page. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Thank you, Jacob. This was one of my favourites from last year’s contest… the prompt was so evocative and really helped me not only to create this poem, but also to do some important healing of feelings I had been hanging onto for a long time… I so love the Poetry Marathon (so thank you to you and Caitlin)! ~~ This year’s prompts also stretched my writing craft in new ways, and for that I am equally grateful!!!

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