Day One Poem: When Madeleine Said No

Empty Glass

When Madeleine Said No

The spotted orb spider withdrew
to a dark corner under the eaves.

Last night’s empty glass remained
empty. Books continued sleeping

on shelves, comfortable in their covers.
What do I do now, she asked.

Nothing has changed,
but the sunlight streaming in

bores through my skin,
fingers all the little crevices,

records my cellular secrets
and folds them into tiny squares,

perhaps to be exposed later.
I am alone but not alone.

All one. Like rain and a river.
Like a train’s whistle knifing

through dreams. Like the night sky
above storm clouds, and smoky

laughter wafting from a bar. A symphony,
a bible. One syllable reclaiming a life.

* * *

Many thanks to Lynne Burnett for sponsoring this poem and providing the title!

If you’d like to join in on the fun, see my September 5 post for sponsorship details.

Tomorrow’s poem is titled “Poetry in the Dark: A Speed Reading Nightmare,” and is sponsored by Ken Gierke, who may or may not be out to get me…

12 thoughts on “Day One Poem: When Madeleine Said No

  1. I love what you did with this poem, Bob! So open ended, so many implications and we don’t even know what the specific question was, just that her whole body said no. Great images – so much to get with each rereading! Inspiring!🙏😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Whoever Madeleine might be to others, she’s clearly a part of me as I read this – instantly reflecting on difficulty of decisions (be it no or yes) in difficult times. Especially: “my cellular secrets … [folded] into tiny squares, perhaps to be exposed later. I am alone but not alone.” And the final “One syllable reclaiming a life” also works for no or yes. This feels pretty universal. (Thank you Lynne & Bob.)

    Liked by 2 people

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