NaPoWriMo Day 1 : Because

NaPoWriMo Day 1 : Because

The prompt for today is based on Robert Hass’s remarkable prose poem, “A Story About the Body.” The idea is to write your own prose poem that, whatever title you choose to give it, is a story about the body. The poem should contain an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image.

There’s no way I could write a poem like Robert Hass’s because it’s outstanding. I read it again and again and I had no words but, ‘Wow’.

My take on today’s prompt.

She looked at him as she did her squats,lunges and plank. There he was, sitting
on the wooden bench in the building park at half-past six in the morning. Still early,
still dark.Just her with her husband and the trainer, and him- small and frail,
in a crisp, white, striped shirt, tucked in to his pants; that he wore at his 
diaphragm. His hand on his right nostril, then his left -breathing in and 
breathing out. On her second set, he'd stand,his trousers creasing at his knee.
And he'd give out a yelp- so loud; it silenced the birdsong. A sliver of a man,
he made the air quake. When she was on her fourth set of squats, lunges and plank,
he'd take a walk- slow, measured steps, back bent. When he passed her, she'd wish
him, 'Good Morning'and he'd raise his hands, bent at the elbows, to the middle 
of his invisible brows, barely touching the finger tips of each hand in a 'Namaste'. 
His lips slanted upwards to one side. He never really looked at her,and yet,
she could tell he was smiling in the way his filmy eyes lit up momentarily. 
When, after a month, she didn't see him one day, she worried. 
"Should I be worried?" her husband joked, working his biceps. 
"He doesn't smile or acknowledge you. Why him?"
And she replied,her eyes vacant, "Because, he reminds me of dad. All of him." All Rights Reserved.

For all those who’d like to read poetry, Maureen, the founder of NaPoWriMo says, ” Today, our featured online magazine is Sixth Finch. Founded in 2008, Sixth Finch publishes new issues quarterly. All of their past issues are easily browsable, and they publish a wide range of work. From their newest issue, I’ll point out Jose Hernandez Diaz’s poem “The Conformist,” which I found quietly funny, and Nicole Callihan’s poem “On the Second Day of the Third Decade in the 21st Century,” which is a very down-to-earth and moving (and again a little funny – what can I say, I like funny poems!) meditation on time.”

18 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 1 : Because”

  1. I really enjoyed the contrast here Smitha, of your more strenuous morning exercises and the old man’s, still making the effort. The last line added poignancy to a touching encounter.

    • Your comment makes me feel better. I had no idea how to approach the prompt until I got writing. And it’s only the first day. Andrea, do read yesterday’s poem. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

  2. Ohh! I could feel this, and didn’t see it coming. <3

    I also marvelled at the poem from the prompt. You did really well. So much power. I was taken aback that we had to start with a prose poem. I think I need some poetry practice first.

    • Trust me, Manja, I felt the same. Felt so stuck. But, I’m so thankful for your appreciation. I hope tomorrow’s prompt is easier. Sending you a big hug and hopping over to read yours now. XXX

  3. Reminds me of what I wrote in my blog “TheVacant Seat”. You have left it to the reader to speculate what happened to the old man and therein lies the strength of the narration. Excellent.

    • Thank you so much for reading and writing back. It’s always a joy to hear your view on a post. Now that you say it, yes, the sentiment is similar to ‘The Vacant Seat.’ I value your appreciation of the poem.

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