A quick reminder that the writing prompt for this month is ‘Being Thankful’. If you would like to enter a piece of flash fiction or a poem then there is still time as submissions are welcome until the 24th of each month.
When considering what I would like to post I found it a bit of a challenge as there are many things for which I’m thankful. But at the end of the day the thing that I will always be most thankful for is my beautiful family.
The prose poem below is a bit of a work in progress if I’m honest. It seemed to just pour onto the page when we moved from our first family home last year and for me it evokes quite vivid images and personal emotions. However, when it was submitted in to a poetry workshop at my writing class, the feedback I received was that it would benefit from being trimmed back fairly substantially to leave only the most salient points. That way it would leave the reader to form their own opinions more, rather than me ‘telling’ them what to feel. This is a critique that I completely take on board and I keep meaning to find the time to dedicate to this exercise as I feel it would certainly be worthwhile. However, in the meantime, I would like to share the original unabridged version for the purposes of this month’s mini competition and any comments or feedback relating to the above would be welcomed.
THE HARDEST MOVE
A final sweep of empty rooms,
hollow steps echoing as I pass through.
Rooms empty but still full:
Of memories. Of the past. Of family.
Silence hangs in the air,
Fingers instinctively brush a spot
on the wall where, on close inspection,
a washed out arc of crayon.
Green, I think.
Patio doors cleaned to a shine yet
I still see little finger prints;
steam where small faces pressed up
against pane on cold winter days
to look for Jack Frost and friends;
drawings formed in residue of their breath.
Outside stays the same
apart from one small fruit tree.
A present on their birth four years ago.
This has already been moved;
the space left is small but vast
The first bedroom where they slept:
The ghosts of memories still linger,
but they won’t stick around
to haunt new owners.
I grieve for the loss
of what made this house our home.
They are waiting in the car.
Too young to understand;
eager for adventure.
Do they know they will not return?
To run up and down the hall chasing monsters
and being super heroes?
To sit at the kitchen table making pictures?
To jump on our bed and stare up
at the ceiling rose moon?
To roll down the garden and clamber over rockery,
playing hide and seek amongst the shrubs?
Will they remember their first home as I do?
They are almost too ready to move:
Excited and paying little heed to what will be left,
keen simply to bring their books and toys to the ‘new’;
ready to leave some ‘old’ in the ‘old’ house.
Their innocence at once charming and poignant.
It is time to go.
I understand but something holds me back
for just a fraction longer.
An invisible thread
gradually unravelling to release me
from the bind I feel.
I almost wish it to slow down
To suspend time for just a moment;
To allow me to breath in the essence
of our first home
and store it
locked away in a place where
it will not fade over time.
But this is just the beginning.
More memories will be made
Fresh air wraps itself around me as I exit;
a smile for waiting passengers.
The door closes quietly behind me
and whispers a soft goodbye.
(c) Elizabeth Frattaroli