The prompt for the 19th was to have an “opposite” day, where everything you say means the opposite. So we were to choose a poem (our own or someone else’s) and write it opposite. Some of the words were challenging as they had no equivalent, but I managed! I used one of my own poems that I have been working on for a long time and still not pleased with. Not sure this is better, but it is different. I had also reformatted to reverse the indents but that doesn’t translate when I cut and paste.
When I Return
(Opposite version of my poem If I Leave)
I have always slept in barns, called cellars
home, held fast by walls, in harm’s way
under concrete bridges driven there by high winds.
How gracefully I’d climb over concrete, ridges empty
of rain, empty of weeds that sprout between the cracks.
I’ve dug up my garden, chased away the mosquitoes
that hover among the broken shards of flowerpots.
They buzz their frustration over my shade which has no flesh.
If I return after you, dig up my bones, tear down the stone,
turn under every white daisy, red carnation,
the dandelions that spew their silk-seed parachutes.
Do not pray for me with cut flowers,
gather them in the parlour, place them in vases,
their colour will reveal no questions of where or whom.
Cry now, turn back from the forest,
find me among the branches of its youngest sapling.
Take my body from the ground, my spirit from the air
and hold it firm, speak words of future
do not listen to the stillness of the air, the voiceless
hum of crickets. Your down-turned lips
pull my energy back to earth.
Carol A. Stephen
April 19, 2012