NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 30

Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver via Unsplash


Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem about something that returns. For, just as the swallows come back to Capistrano each year, NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo will ride again!” ~ NaPoWriMo, Day 30

Once again, NaPoWriMo has been a wild, exuberant, insanely rewarding experience! I’m beyond grateful to Maureen Thorson for her delightful prompts and for the community she brings together every year. And I’m grateful to everyone who has been supportive and kind and endlessly enthusiastic about poetry.

I love this last prompt because it ends on a hopeful note. NaPoWriMo will indeed return next year. I know I’ll miss it this May, when my poetry-writing routine suffers from a lack of discipline (self-imposed deadlines don’t seem quite as urgent). And you know what else will return? Birthdays. Here’s a photo of the gluten-free cake my daughter made for me yesterday. And a photo of the meal my husband and son prepared in secret–and included some Romanian dishes. And a photo of the cards my kids wrote that brought me to my knees. It’s terrible how we forget sometimes how much we’re loved. 😭🥰🙏💜


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The poem below is based on a borrowed memory my father shared with me. In 1975-76, we lost several family members in quick succession, one of them painfully young. Overwhelmed by grief, my father asked me a question. He didn’t really expect an answer from his three-year-old child, but received one. I couldn’t possibly have a recollection of that moment, but have heard this story so often over the years, that I feel like I do. I picture my father and me in a park in late autumn. The leaves are falling and it’s windy and there’s this frenetic dance in the air around us. My father bends down to make sure my ears are covered. His eyes are sad. He asks me a question–and I answer.

PS–Most of the poems written this April will remain online for up to five days, after which they will be replaced by an excerpt, an erasure, or a thoroughly amateurish art piece that will only allow for bits of the original poem to peek through. At least, this is the plan. The reason being that, at some point, in the hopefully not too distant future, these drafts will undergo revision and begin their multiple-year pilgrimage through the slush piles of many a literary journal. So help me, O Muse.

PPS–The last April poem is now in my work-in-progress folder. The seashell angels are here, with me, though not for long. We’re sitting together in silence. It’s a good kind of silence–one of fulfillment, one of a job well done. Thirty days, thirty poems, thirty erasures–most of them staged by the Seashell Angels & Co. Now, to well-deserved rest. What is rest, again? they ask me. It’s when you do nothing for a while, I tell them. Or do very little. They look puzzled. What is ‘nothing’? I won’t bore you with my convoluted explanation of nothingness. Suffice is to say, I didn’t manage to convince them that doing nothing is worth their time. So, um, I think they’ll be back, most likely at an inconvenient time for me. As a parting gift, they left their gorgeous seashell wings as flower bouquets for all those who appreciated them last month–and also, for all those who didn’t. Love is sneaky like that, they told me. It doesn’t expect anything in return.


Poetry from the trenches, Day 30


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26 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 30

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  1. How wonderful, everything. The wind! I see that you had a loveliest birthday and the timing of it is just great. Now you can relax and celebrate another year, and this month done well. Much love and hope to see you around and around again and again. And thank you for all your words this month. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for yours! And yes, we’ll see each other around. Not sure how people survived before virtual communication. I guess they had more time to spend in nature and write long, thoughtful letters–and poems… That doesn’t sound bad at all, actually.😊💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how the structure of your poem mirrors the idea of consistency in change. And :

    [quote deleted by RI]

    What an incredible image of grief underlying dailiness.

    Thank you for all of the words, feelings, and images you’ve shared!


    1. Thank you so much for reading my words and finding the time to comment, dear Alana–this was one hectic month. And I loved reading your beautiful words–and hope to see more of them post-NaPoWriMo!💜


    1. Thank you, dear Lindi–I’m very moved.🙏💜 We’ll both be so busy revising in May, guiding our drafts along toward their ideal selves. I can’t wait to read your future poems–whether revised or yet to be written! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As I look forward to yours. I have been writing a poem a day since 1 December. Tomorrow I shall print up December’s poems and work with them in hardcopy for a bit. Get off the computer for a bit.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Wow, that’s five months’ worth of daily poems! I’m impressed–and a little scared of such a Sisyphean task, but know that those poems are in good hands. They’re your babies, you’ll take them all to the top of the mountain. Good luck and may the muse be with you!💜


  3. Oh, how lovely this poem, my sweet sister, just like all of them. And the opening lines? The song of a weeping lyre… I am beyond delighted for this amazing experience to witness the fragrant blossoms of your April poems. I can’t wait to celebrate together and give gratitude to this imperfect world made perfect with the love we bring to it. Bravo, Romana! Yo did it, again! Much love always ❤️🐝🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear soul sister! I agree, love is the answer and it will make us–and the world–whole, if we let it. Much love and gratitude for your steady presence and support during NaPoWriMo and every single time I needed you! 🥰🙏💜


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