November First

And then when I lost my last ball
down the rabbit hole, and no amount
of flippering could ever bring it back,

when the lights came on in the hotel bar and
suddenly, we all knew exactly who we were
with–no more magic, no more mystery–

when November first brought empty candy wrappers in
piles of leaves, the porch decorations already coming
down, everyone raking up the zombie hands, Silly String,

when I felt the world slide toward a little less light
in every cup of day, nothing but dead bees, dead flowers,
a retreat toward the tired and the empty, the passionless,

what could I do but bring in the geraniums and then
invite the ladybug to stay, the one that hitched a ride
on my hand to come in out of the hail and the snow?

I don’t believe in “game over”
until the game is over, and it’s
not over yet. No, it’s not over just



So … I’m doing the November PAD Chapbook Challenge for the first time in at least a couple of years. Today’s prompt was “game over.”

You can expect a poem here every day this month (except for a few days when I’ll be out of town, which I will then make up later). I’m trying something new, too–doing it all here rather than writing in Word and then copying and pasting. My intention is to show you things this month that are a little less edited than usual, maybe a little more jagged. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. Spend November with me, won’t you?


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