TweetSpeak Poetry Prompt 5: Mystery: Questions

From TweetSpeak’s Poetry Prompt Free Mini-Series. Sign up at their website to get prompts in mail.

This is the last of the prompts in this mini-series based on the book How to Read a Poem, based on Billy Collins’ poem “Introduction to Poetry“, but there are more free prompts here.

Based on Robert Haight’sHow Is It That The Snow
Write a poem that begins with a question. Don’t try too hard to answer it.

Since When

by C. S. E. Cooney

for Kiri

since when
did we take up our cameras, capture
our faces–
graceless, ageless, haggard and fey, shades of
dwayberry and moth-wing-gray
in the dusk?
since when was that us?

since when
did we use tablecloths for
instead of affixing them to our
persons with safety pins and fringed sashes–
choose to do dishes, when we might be prancing off
for sultry parklands, hand in hand, crushing
dusty moonbeams with our combat boots?

since when
did we reread Rilla, looking for escape
in friendly old pages, hoping to shake
off days of confinement, grinding duties
fearful uncertainties, find not comfort but
consanguinity with grief
death tolls that defy belief, and hear again
(as for the first time, again) that phantom
piper, and wonder–if he plays, he plays
for thee, for me–
for our beloveds or beloved strangers
on my side
or on thy side of the sea?

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