Today’s prompt (optional, as always) is based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.
I see it with open eyes
or are they closed?
Crowded streets, busy markets
Me jostling… making my way
Foreign faces – man in a stained blue shirt
Or is it a green shirt with blue stains?
Or is he ogling-
Us…me and her?
I ask him to move, I ask her to follow
“Is this enough?” he sneers, stepping aside
I walk past; don’t look up
Then turn around
I see him smile
Or is he snickering?
Was it him?
Where is she?
My palms are wet; what should I do?
I can’t think; my eyes search wildly
I’m lost, I can’t see
My glasses, I’ve forgotten them
There are people; hundreds
Moving here and there, everywhere
And me… him
But, not her
My breathing fast , my pulse racing
Is that my heart-beat?
I hear it loud, louder
I break out in a sweat
It’s dark around
Or did I just wake?
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