Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DMC: "After the Water" by Ellen Leventhal

Today we're marking a one-year anniversary. On May 25, 2015, the first of two devastating storms hit Texas, with floods that turned Ellen Leventhal's world upside down. The second flood hit just last month, on April 18th. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ellen, her family, and her entire community.


My fur feels sticky
like when Jack dropped me
in his bath.
Everyone laughed then.
The bubbles tickled and warmed me.
But now I shiver and shake.
No Jack, no laughter.
Nana lifts me high, high, onto a shelf.
The noises over, under, and around me
are loud and scary.
Except for Nana’s sigh.
It’s soft and sad.
I look around from my high perch.
and wrinkle my nose.
No sweet soapy smell.
Something different.
The room fills with water
brown and cold.
Big hands covered in plastic
scoop me up.
Nana looks at the man
and shakes her head.
Sorrow spills from her eyes,
dotting the white mask covering her face.
With a whoosh, I am thrown outside.
I fly through the air,
touch down on a pile of memories,
and become one myself.

© 2016 Ellen Leventhal. All rights reserved.

Laura Shovan has challenged us to write persona poems this month. Click HERE for more details. You don't need to include the artwork that inspired your poem, but you are welcome to as long as I can properly attribute the artist/photographer.

Send your poem to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, May 27th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her fantastic new verse novel for middle grade readers:


  1. My heart goes out to you, Ellen. <3 You've written a beautiful poem here – using the teddy bear's voice was a powerful choice.

  2. Oh I am sorry for this memory, but you've shown it so well, Ellen. Like Michelle, allowing the teddy bear to show its heartbreak touches everyone who's had such a loss.

  3. This is such a powerful poem, Ellen--a stroke of genius to write from the bear's POV. Wishing you dry times!


  4. Your loss is profoundly captured by the depth of truth in Nana's and Bear's heartaches. Many blessings to you and your family <3

  5. I got goosebumps when I read this, Ellen. Sending you dry vibes for happier memories. =)

  6. Wow, Ellen! This is very powerful, especially the last lines, which gave me chills. The POV was unique and effective. Kudos, my friend! I hope things are getting better for everyone affected by the devastation.

  7. This really touched me, Ellen. Wonderful job.
    I could hear your despair in your in your texts when you had to deal with the aftermath of the flood instead of meeting me for a carefree lunch in Houston. You have really been through it.

  8. The ending line was filled with such emotion.

  9. Thank you all! We are all fine. The house will be fixed up again, and my family and friends are healthy. I know I am lucky in so many ways.

  10. Very powerful and poignant verse, Ellen! I'm so sorry about all of the flooding--sending sunshine and hugs your way <3!!