Sunday October 11th, 2009

The exercise:

I've been messing about with ideas for the title of my NaNoWriMo story on and off for the last twenty four hours. I haven't settled on anything yet, but I thought I'd throw one option out as a writing prompt because... well, why not?

So. What can you do with: lessons in the dust.

Mine:

The attic was cold and poorly lit
By weak sunlight through a window slit;
The dust must have been three inches thick.
"Let's get what we need and be gone quick,"
I told my father but he hushed me -
He was searching for a memory
And he was in no hurry.

After what felt like hours had passed,
My patience and humor fading fast,
He found the box he was looking for
And he spread its contents on the floor.
"This is the village I grew up in,"
He said softly with an empty grin;
I felt goosebumps on my skin.

"Why haven't you shown me this before?"
I asked, examining crumbling stores.
He was silent for a long, long time.
"This is why I still value a dime,"
He sighed at last and got to his feet.
Then he said the words I oft repeat:
"We can't all be born elite."

3 Comments:

TAMmommy said...

First off, thanks for the welcome back, It has been too long, but illness and death happen and we can't control those things, but I don't plan to leave again!

Lessons in the dust....

Can't get a poem out right now....but:

Slowly walking through the house, everything covered in sheets, that once were white but now covered in dust. First the living room, and vision of fights over an old silky blanket in front of the tv with my brother. On to the kitchen and learning to make mayonaise from scratch, and cole slaw and sugar cream pie. Down the hall to the bedroom, sleeping on the sloor beside her side of the bed, while my brother was on the floor on his side, that was sleepovers and grammie's house. Remembering the times, the years I spent in that house, the people that shaped and molded me into the woman I am today, that are only a memory now. They are gone now, down the road in a small country church-yard, lying side-by-side in a shady spot near the back. I visited them today, before I stopped at the house. It is time to say goodbye, to let it go, to move on and to remember the lessons in the dust of the house, that no longer is mine to visit. Taking the lessons with me, to pass on to the next generation.

Greg said...

Eloo: fascinating title, and your poem does some very nice things with it. There's a great flow through your poem, and not a word feels out of place. Fantastic!

TAMmommy: that's a beautiful reminiscence, I felt myself transported to another place :)

Lessons in the dust

She kneels before me, face smeared
With dirt and hands covered in rust.
She brushes mud away from a stone,
And shows me lessons in the dust.

At her side is what's been found already,
A ring of silver, a necklace that must
Have once adorned the throat of a great
Woman; one who knows of lessons in the dust.

"Archaeology," she whispers, "We are learning
From the past. Things broken and bust
Are not rubbish but milestones on our way
To learn lessons in the dust."

Marc said...

Tam - aye, crappy life stuff has been known to get in the way of this little habit of ours. My condolences and best wishes to you and yours.

And I have to agree with Greg, that was fantastic.

Greg - thanks very much :)

That last stanza brought a perfect end to your poem. You seem to have a knack for that.