Friday, November 30, 2012

Writer's Digest Poem A Day Challenge

Wow! Fun times. My daughters challenged me to dueling poetry via Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog Poetry Contest. Every year he hosts the November Poem A Day challenge where prompts are provided for each day of the month. The challenge is to write a poem using the prompt for a title, theme, or motif within the poem. I did this once before (I think it was 2010). This time I felt much better about my work.

Sorry, though. Not posting any of the poems here until after they've been submitted elsewhere. I will post the final poem (today's prompt--November 30--was "milk"). I posted this one on his comment section so it's already public.

Been there, done that: Got Milk

My father in his mid-life crazies
recruited me for milking cows.
He packed me off to a farm in Texas
where he built a fine brick house.

I hated milking cows.

My arms grew thick and strong, I had
a death-grip-hand-shake—
it gave me strength, taught me how
to appreciate my work.

I hated milking cows.

Five o’clock every day
I would rise, pail in hand
and stomp my way to the barn
to relieve two brown Jerseys.

I hated milking cows.

I asked him why the task fell
to me, after all, it was
his idea from the start.
He explained how I received
the benefits of fresh dairy:
sweet milk, cream, and butter.
Our cows ate weeds, the milk was strong
the cream was rank and butter bitter.
I didn’t seem to profit much.
But it taught me industry,
early morning solitude,
and the meaning of metaphor
which I milked for all its worth.

And I hate milking cows.