Day 1 Book Cover Poem PAD 2023

Launching the Poem-a-Day challenging this April 1, we begin with celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Na/GloPoWriMo this April. Today’s prompt from the NaPoWriMo is below:

“And here’s our own prompt (optional, as always) for the first day of Na/GloPoWriMo. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but they never said you can’t try to write a poem based on a book cover — and that’s your challenge for today.”

What are the chances that I would be visiting my sister on a south Georgia lake covered with Gallinules and reading a book of poetry to review for The Polish Review titled Yours, Purple Gallinule? Because of this serendipity, I chose for my prompt the cover of this beautiful book of poems by Ewa Chrusciel, Omnidawn Press, 2022. 

So here’s my poem today!

Goodbye Gallinule

Once a river before the dam,

this wide slate water now a lake,

today runs upstream.

In the fast moving current,

bobbing Gallinules, like a carnival game,

pick one and win a prize.

The  Bald Eagle plays the game

each white head disappears in deep blue

to avert the death beak and talons one more time. 

In a floating cluster, against the wind,

the birds swim, splash, fly, cry in unison

until a lone Gallinule cries out having

lost its tribe as dark clouds cast

shadow threats on the fast rolling river,

push the Gallinule gaggle upstream,

out of my sight, now and quiet

as if to say upon departure,

Yours, Gallinule.

Jacquelyn Markham (April 1, 2023)

3 thoughts on “Day 1 Book Cover Poem PAD 2023”

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