Day 1 Poem-a-day challenge begins!

Prompt: write a prose poem, a story about the body. The poem should contain an encounter between two people, words spoken between them, and a crisp visual image.  Thank you to Maureen Thorson, creator of for this prompt. Her site is a wonderful resource for poets.

The Red Shawl

The red shawl woven with an intricate paisley pattern that swirled around the curves of the woman’s body & fell in folds of fringe. Silken black fringe in five-inch strands hung, like ice from the edges of the red shawl. The woman fidgeted, pulling the heavy red cloth around her, gazed absent-mindedly at her image in the mirror. From behind a screen near her easel, a tiny woman stepped out, her body nearly transparent. “I know who you are,” the woman in the red shawl said to the tiny woman with hair curled around her face like a cap on her head. ”You are Suzanne Valadon!”

“It’s only the first time that your own body startles you,” the ghostly Valadon replied. “Now, pick up the brush and load it with color! I am here to guide you.” The larger bodied woman loaded her brush with paint and the red shawl slipped from her shoulder. Her body, plump with her sixty years of living before her in the mirror looked as appealing as a bowl of fruit in the sunlight, she thought. As she touched her brush to the canvas, her spirit revealed itself in her scars, her veins, & capillaries—its imperfection shone vivid against the red shawl.

                                                                        Jacquelyn Markham

Nude Arranging Her Hair, Suzanne Valadon

April 1, 2022