Day 28 ~ There’s a Stranger in My Poem
Today, as we get so close to the finish line, I challenge you to write a poem about someone you know nothing about. Not a single thing. A complete and total stranger that you randomly come by as the day progresses. A waitress. A passenger on the bus with you you. The water delivery person. A man three cubicles away from you, who you have never held a conversation with.
All these people have lives, so write about it? Did you catch a smile you have never seen before? Did they rush away from their desk in tears? Are they asleep? Come up with the life that has brought them to today. Describe them, and inject them with personality.
Here is an example from Rattle Magazine
T.S. Davis, RN
THE GRAVEDIGGER THINKS OF
The gravedigger sits on the backhoe smoking a cigarette.
It’s quiet beneath the trees that partially hide him
from the scrum of mourners beset by grief, regret,
their weeping faces wan and pinched and grim.
The gravedigger waits until the last one leaves,
then yells to signal his men to lower the box,
and turns the key that wakes his rumbling beast
that lumbers now to move the dirt and rocks.
The gravedigger fills the hole until the mound
remarks upon the grass like blood on skin.
And when he cuts the engine there is no sound
except the whispered shush of trees in wind.
The gravedigger thinks of all he needs to do
before he sleeps tonight, like me, like you.
–from Rattle #28, Winter 2007