Category Archives: April Prompts

throes of spring


April is the month we are busy

with questions of great urgency.

Will the lilies, last year’s disappointment,

not only emerge, but bloom?

Did the dahlias freeze in their winter bed,

the bare ground testimony to our careless November?

Why are all free day lilies orange?

What is the name, again, of that farmer’s market find

purchased on a whim?


Even as I humbly acknowledge

that once again, I’ve waited too late

to plant the spinach,

I pray against late frost.

In the foothills of South Carolina

when a freeze is threatened past Easter,

we are all peach farmers

and all pacing strawberry fields,

hands hovering blessing and protection over the tender blossoms.


These are the weeks when Hope pushes up

with the force of a stem through the red clay,

and plots and plans for beauty and a full belly

from the earth that may bake and crack

come first of August.

I need the woman I am in springtime,

sowing words and life and possibility

against future forecast and past history.


Writing along with other good folks

using the April prompts at Write ALM



It was a dream


I woke without words.

Where they had been, their rowdy, jostling crowd,

was only a low fog, ghosting along the ground of my mind.

The sun rose, but I had only parted, silent lips,

no way to bid it good morning as I snapped the shade open.

The alphabet, my twenty-six friends, and their cohorts, the commas and periods,

the sharp-elbowed exclamation points and the gentler semicolons,

and their brother and sister, the pause and breath, were gone.

And so the mug left a brown ring mute with grief.

The rain-wet petals stuck to the driveway,

stamps on unwritten, undelivered letters.

I widened my eyes at my loved ones, and pressed my fingertips

to the backs of their hands, no way to say

Your collar is turned up.

Do you have your lunch?

I love you.


I jolted awake to the real Wednesday,

and waited, breath held, to listen

between my own ears. The welcome buzzing

of my words returned to me, spilling into the screen door

of this new day, their stories to tell: dawn and breakfast,

tenderness and coffee pot,

dogwood and forever.

My hands tremble gratefully,

bowl held to catch them

in the strengthening light.


Writing along with other good folks

using the April prompts at Write ALM


a hand to hold


A Hand to Hold


This is the beginning of the day,

the hiss-splat of coffee in the glass carafe,

my reflection in the window a ghost

in a ghost room, the window a veil

between me and the still-dark.

Friday is slow to become real, but surely

it takes form within my hands like a warm mug,

shapes itself into books and pens and plans,

rising from the calendar as we quietly sip

and sketch the hours ahead with quiet words.


This is the middle of the day,

the snap of sun-bleached sheets on the line,

schoolbooks scattered over the table,

the last of the coffee an abandoned half-inch in the pottery mug,

the mail delivered but unopened.

We shift our weight from might to must,

as we accept what the basket of the afternoon can still hold,

and what has been nudged into tomorrow

by the sloth or industry of the morning.

Noon is for clear sight and hard edges,

dark short shadows.


This is the end of the day,

softened by the circle of the twilight supper table,

hushed as the dim kitchen wiped clean.

The last of the wine dribbles into our glasses,

and after all, this is all we can ask,

a book, dented cushions, a hand to hold,

as we become again shifting reflections

in the darkening glass.

Good night.



Writing along with other good folks

using the April prompts at Write ALM