‘Beginning at the End’ – a d’Verse poetics prompt
As if we could hear music inside the words.– Gail Newman
The intervals between our letters are dependably constant. Our friendship forged for the ages. Our affection warm and lasting. Our love spanning vast oceans and generations. I write to you about the New York City blizzard that has snowed us in this Chanukah, while my grandchildren throw themselves upon my sticky jelly donuts. We are getting old, dear friend; how many frayed and yellowed letters in shoeboxes? Most days I usually stay at home in my cozy nightgown. I look often at your photographs. Some days we still speak. Other days I reread your elegant script. Your tinkling laughter continues to ring in every syllable.
At d’Verse, we were asked to write a poem inspired by the final line of another poet’s work, among a list of several. We were allowed to use the line as an epigraph at the beginning of the poem. I chose the line from Gail Newman’s poem ‘Trust’ as my epigraph.
We were specifically instructed to: write our poems as continuations of where the poets of our choice left off, thematically, in the same mood, rather than literally, giving special thought to our own final lines.
by Gail Newman
The country between us
has no borders.
The barbed wire has been cut.
The walls decimated.
The moat drained beneath the bridge.
I cross over to you carrying a metal lunch pail
filled with bologna sandwiches, mayonnaise
spread from crust to crust. We sit
in the grass, our skirts spread over pale legs.
Some days I wear jeans, a blouse with open collar.
I look into your face as into a mirror. Some days we speak.
Other times we remain silent. As if we could hear
music inside the words.