Day 23 Someplace you don’t go anymore. PAD 2023

Slowly on prompt! This poem includes the point of view of the old house–in a manner of speaking. A surprise visit from a lightning rod suggests that it may become an important symbol in my rewrite.

Prompt from Napowrimo:   “. . .our optional prompt for the day! Start off by reading Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s “Lockdown Garden.” Now, try to write a poem of your own that has multiple numbered sections. Attempt to have each section be in dialogue with the others, like a song where a different person sings each verse, giving a different point of view. Set the poem in a specific place that you used to spend a lot of time in, but don’t spend time in anymore.”

She never goes there anymore


Cold & creaky, the house resists

concrete & wrought iron—

“modernizing” father does each weekend.

Mint green trim, never finished,

contrasts peeling yellow paint.

Lightning rod safely routes destruction

to the ground, but supercharged bolts

are not the only danger.


She was only five, wandering

through the meadow,

goldenrod & cattails

higher than her head.

No one noticed she was missing

until the dinner bell.


Mary, Dina, Linda, where are you?”

Come here now. We’ve got corn to husk,

beans to snap for dinner.


Follow me to climb this tree. I’ll help you

up to the big branches. Keep climbing.

Climb, climb, climb the cottonwood tree.

Look at the leaves shimmering,

keep reaching up. Climb until the branches

are so spindly, I’ll have to stop. You can go alone,

you sway with the wind. Until like a cat,

she was so high into the spindly branches,

she couldn’t turn around or

back down. She heard her mother call.


“I don’t hear it,” the sleepy sister, just

awakened, whispered. Turning on her

pillow to go back to sleep, bells in the

Christmas box from the closet jingled.

Sisters pull covers over their heads.

Thump, thump, thump, the man with

a wooden leg in the attic!

They jump from the bed, streak

down the hall, down the steps, & into

mother’s room. She sends them

away back into the dark.


Heading to hide in the apple tree,

she takes her mystery book

to the meadow, the house behind

her. Startled from her wild

flower reverie when pheasants

fly up in her face.

Jacquelyn Markham (4/23/2023)

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