In response to the early-bird prompt March 31st on NaPoWriMo.net
One Day to Go and an Early-Bird Prompt On March 31, 2022
The prompt suggests using lines from Emily Dickinson as inspiration. I chose the line:
“Forever might be short”. Here’s the poem (first draft at least)
On a Flickering Screen
Forever might be short – Emily Dickinson
The small screen flickers, distorts images of houses,
hospitals, playgrounds, schools. Perhaps last week
each stood in its stone beauty, stood firm against the wind,
bastions of life in an ordinary city. Built to last forever.
Forever might be shorter than we think. Overhead,
the drone of missiles, the wail of sirens, and in the square
a solitary cello player draws his bow across strings again and again.
In vain, he tries to drown out the sounds of war, the sounds
that will play again and again for days, for weeks, and every night
in everyone’s dreams. Here, a mother gathers up her children,
grasps small fingers in her hands, tugs them away from their toys.
You will have new ones, she promises, not knowing from where or how.
This small family group sets forth on foot into the forests, not knowing
how long ‘til their next meal, how far to safety, how many bullets
they will dodge on the way. Behind them, older sons and husbands,
forced to stay to fight a war they didn’t start, didn’t want.
Each face on these soldiers determined, each face strong in love of country.
All will fight for their homeland, for freedom, for their families, a safe place
to raise their children without fear, without bombs, without death lying
all around them, every town, every street, every corner.
Carol A. Stephen
April 1, 2022