From TweetSpeak’s Poetry Prompt Free Mini-Series. Sign up at their website to get prompts in mail.
Based on Wallace Stevens’s Poem “The Snow Man“
Start a poem with “one must have a mind of . . .” and choose a word
to complete that first line and explore through sensory language.
For example: One must have a mind of salad. One must have a mind
of seahorses. One must have a mind of roller coasters.
The Window Woman
By C. S. E. Cooney
one must have a mind of quarantine
of clean, sterile surfaces, a surfeit of paper
supplies, sustainably made, bamboo or DIY
and have been altogether distant for so long
so calm, so detached, watching the world through
glass, listening to the far-off song
of a cactus wren, and the mangy cat in the Bermuda
grass, filthy and desperate, eyeing the hummingbird with
lust, one eye crusted over, one ear bent, tail broken
there is the sound of muted traffic, and the smell of
not-as-much smog, mosquitos batting at the screen
like small anxieties, homing, homing in on heated blood
and protected I sit, quiet, contemplative, not much
different than before, yet trammeled, yearning for more
resigned, a watchdog, slavering for signs of my time