Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DMC: "Ode to a Tissue" by Donna JT Smith

                      (and an acrostic)

The faintest whiff of clean, starched sheets
In white, you lie flat, stiff, well pressed, waiting as
Shaking fingertips flounder, feeling for your straight, thin edge
Silently you caress my face, no, you are quietly humming
Unduly seasoned with salt from my tears.
Eternally crumpled, rolled up in a ball, do you have any regrets?
Shush, so happy to help.

© 2017 Donna JT Smith. All rights reserved.

Helen Frost has challenged us to write an ode poem this month, following these instructions: 
Choose an object (a seashell, a hairbrush, a bird nest, a rolling pin). It should not be anything symbolic (such as a doll, a wedding ring, or a flag). Write five lines about the object, using a different sense in each line (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Then ask the object a question, listen for its answer, and write the question, the answer, or both.
Click HERE to read her sample poem, "Ode to a River."

Post your poem on our March 2017 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, March 31st, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest novel-in-poems from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux/Macmillan:


  1. So much to love about this, Donna! Besides your graceful combination of the two forms, I love the starched sheets, the humming, and sigh audibly each time I read those last two lines. Wonderful job!

    1. Oh, thanks, Michelle! Loved this challenge. I love ALL your challenges, I just don't get to all of them. I'm going to try harder to make sure I do! They are such good prompts and interviews! Thanks again!

  2. Of course you would add a layer of complexity to your ode, Donna! Nicely done -- great ending!

  3. I love that answer, that the tissue is happy to help. "Shush" adds such a motherly tone! And I like "Unduly seasoned with salt from my tears." Well done, Donna!

  4. "Shush, so happy to help." ! Cracked me up & Made feel a little tenderness. So mommy-ish.

  5. So much to love about this. Great work.

  6. This ode shows you can really write an ode to anything. I love how you also made it an acrostic. My students are going to enjoy this poem from their favorite poet-blog-hacker.

  7. Donna, you have wiped up here. I wonder what the speaker's tears were about.
    And I especially love alliteration - "fingertips flounder, feeling..." Brava!

  8. Donna, I really enjoyed this and know I will come back to it again. I think readers of all ages can appreciate this-am planning on sharing this and some of the others with the teachers at my school. :)