Poem Tryouts: It Was an Accident

21 Oct

7:38 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Burl Ives singing A Little Bitty Tear — that’s what happens when I put my entire music library on shuffle

Hello there! I have realised that Fall weather is an adrenaline shot. What gorgeous weather we are having. Not, mind you, that I’m actually going outside my cave. Twelve hours ago, today’s prompt was something else. While trying to lull myself to sleep, I thought about topics to add to my collection of possible prompts; this one came to mind and never left. When I woke this morning still framing the post, I decided to go with it.

Some time in my youth, when I was still young enough to need our amah along when I went somewhere, my younger brother John, Chen, and myself were up at the top of the Peak. We loved our trips to the top — hauled up by the Peak Tram — where we walked the circle around the mountain. We never got tired of the view, or of all the places to play. We were on the last leg, probably tired and full of fresh air and running around.

There was a set of stairs. I’m pretty sure my brother was involved somehow, but that’s all my memory is going to give me on the how. What I remember is the stairs’ rough edges and steepness. They plunged down the side of the mountain and seemed an odd place for stairs. The only thing we could see was trees and rocks. Why a staircase? I started down. I was in a hurry. I’m pretty sure I was angry. That’s when I fell.

The topic I was mulling was accidents. The event I describe came immediately to mind. I’m sure there have been others, but this is the one my memory is insistent about. Think about accidents, for a moment. They can be ones that involve you, or a friend, or you saw on television. Jot down likely ones and add notes as you think of details. The accidents can be tiny and seemingly unimportant, or large with ramifications.

Why does each accident occupy a memory cell? What is it about each event that keeps it with you? You can write a straight forward poem recalling an accident. Or, you can reach for a larger universal truth with the accident merely highlighting that truth. The speaker might, or might not, be you. Consider writing in present tense as if the accident is happening now.

Remember: when in doubt, go with whatever came to mind as you read the above.

What happened to me? Nothing broken, but the most gorgeous black eye I have ever seen, on anyone.

I shall see you Thursday for links; Friday for this week’s prompt roundup; and next Tuesday for another prompt from me.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 21/10/2014 in exercises, poetry


Tags: ,

20 responses to “Poem Tryouts: It Was an Accident

  1. Misky

    21/10/2014 at 5:05 pm

    • Misky

      21/10/2014 at 5:07 pm

      p.s., I know that circular path very well. It starts and ends just by the Peak Cafe, right?

      • margo roby

        21/10/2014 at 5:12 pm

        Lugard Road. Yes, indeed.

        Not only first, but possibly only, for the day. As I am in happy hour mode, I shall visit you first thing tomorrow.

  2. Hannah Gosselin

    21/10/2014 at 9:48 pm

    Hello! I loved your story, Margo…very descriptive…I was right there with you.

    Mine is a practice in brevity but somehow I think it suites…

    Thank you for the challenge! 🙂

    • margo roby

      23/10/2014 at 9:46 am

      It’s one of my strongest memories, Hannah.

      Brevity? I’m on my way.

      You’re welcome 🙂

  3. purplepeninportland

    21/10/2014 at 11:03 pm

    Mine is imagined, but the speech is real.

  4. julespaige

    22/10/2014 at 7:46 am

  5. b_young

    23/10/2014 at 12:08 am

    Don’t ask me what led up to it, but it occurred to me I almost never write anything straightforward.

    • margo roby

      23/10/2014 at 7:52 am

      This just now occurred to you? Heck, I could have told you that.

      • b_young

        23/10/2014 at 9:34 am

        Well, there’s noticing, and then there’s notice.

        • margo roby

          23/10/2014 at 9:35 am

          Well put. As long as I’m here, I shall wander your way.

  6. rosross

    23/10/2014 at 9:53 am

  7. markwindham

    24/10/2014 at 7:15 pm

    going with the ‘post any time’ theme… actually, pretty proud to have gotten it in before the next prompt goes up. Kinda prose-y really, but had to be written or there would be no sleep tonight. 😉

    • margo roby

      25/10/2014 at 9:51 am

      God forbid you should remain wakeful and fretful! I’m heading over and hey, you even got it in before the weekend.


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