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Speech Without Words

This morning I focused on a scene between two people, an interaction without words. Why? Poetic Asides assigned the task for today’s poetry prompt.

Fiction writers write such scenes every day. It’s part of narrative fiction, a part that allows the reader to get the impression of a conversation without having to read dialogue. The technique places the reader inside the activity on the page, allows the reader to fill in all the implied blanks from the reader’s personal experience.

Poetry could be said to be the bedmate of narrative fiction. A poem tells a story, instructs with philosophy, or entertains with frivolity, but always toward a purpose. It describes a picture with story or with pure narrative description, which includes an actual or implied history.

Poems also form the basis of mythology, whether from ancient Greece or ancient Nordic regions, or anywhere else on the globe. In modern poetry dialogue has been added to the mix of lyric verse and meter. A poet uses every gem in the jewel box to get a story told as she/he wishes it to be.

And sometimes those who’ve never appreciated the poetry that kept civilization alive and kicking, while they whoop and holler at the end of the movie that came from the poem.

The following is my offering for today’s poetry prompt. If time allows in today’s schedule, I’ll do another later and post it here. Enjoy your weekend, all. Have a peaceful holiday.

Lawn Duty


He reached for her hand,

Small enough solace

To bolster flagging courage.

She squeezed his fingers

And tugged gently.

He followed her lead

As they moved past the stone,

Head down, he could not watch

His past dwindle from view.

She knew, knew the time he’d

Spent caring for his children,

Their sweet faces lit from within,

Eager to please and play all day.

Now, only photos remained,

Memory prompts of days gone by.

She pulled him close, arm in arm,

Humming an old hymn from church.

He sighed, knowing sleep elude him.

He’d have no one to keep him company,

No one to nuzzle with, tell secrets to.

Others could never replace Pippa and Pepper.

Others would never bring such delight

Or mischief to a day’s somber turning.

Only these two small bundles of fur

Had ever gained the whole of his heart.

Mom knew how it was, she felt for him,

And she would never speak of his sobs,

Fears in the night that two friends had soothed.

He listened to her humming, his chest loosened,

He didn’t want to go home but knew he must.


© Claudette J. Young 2012

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