Wednesday, September 12, 2018

DMC: "September, When the Heat Finally Breaks and We Open the Windows" by Brenda Davis Harsham




September, When the Heat Finally Breaks 
and We Open the Windows

Rain pounds as sheer
curtains dance a damp minuet.
My husband’s shoulder
moves up and down,
under the tightly-gripped blanket
but the scent of rain
takes me back to camping
in a crowded tent, my children
fidgeting and sighing
around me as frogs croaked
and cicadas hummed, until
I thought I’d never hear my
own heart beat again.
The tent roof was green
and dark with seams from
front to back, moving with breezes.
My bedroom ceiling is cracked
from window to window, a dark
fine-lined pathway
with one dark spot. What is it?
A spider perhaps, frozen there,
wondering the same thing as me:


Why can’t I sleep?


© 2018 Brenda Davis Harsham. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. Her DMC challenge is to write a letter to yourself in which you ask some questions that you don't have to answer. (Please keep in mind that your poem does not need to be in standard letter form.)

Post your poem on our September 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation on Friday, September 28th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest collection of poetry from Greenwillow Books:






15 comments:

  1. Brenda, I liked how all the description led to that one,all-consuming, question--surprising for a second but then not surprising at all in hindsight!

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    1. I hoped it was a satisfying click of rightness at the end. It's hard to achieve, but the best feeling when it works.

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  2. Another great approach to this challenge! I love how your poem carries us with you in this lovely lyrical reverie, Brenda, and then rewards us at the end with a tiny jolt of surprise.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it, Michelle. It's always the most burning question in my mind, when it's relevant, which has become far too frequent.

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  3. Thanks for posting my poem here, Michelle. I love the open-ended-ness of this challenge. So many of my poems start with a question. So many form in the long darkness of sleeplessness.

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  5. I deleted my comment accidentally. *sigh* > Oh my goodness. I saw this on the padlet. A poem filled with scents and images conjured in my mind. I smiled when I read that last sentence. And while I was reading it, I kept wanting to read more. The spider sentence was the perfect ending. These words brought back sweet memories for me.

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    1. I'm still thinking of summer. I'm not ready to let it go yet. I'm glad you remembered sweet memories, too.

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  6. Oh Brenda, I love this. Never thought that might be the spider's question. I tended toward stay in your corner and I'll stay down here. :-)

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    1. I never want to know if it's really a spider in the middle of the night. I prefer when it's so dark, I can't see the ceiling at all. I'm glad I managed to surprise you.

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  7. This shows my own wandering thoughts in the middle of the night, sometimes. I love the moving back to a memory, and that surprise at the end. Your title was a trick, too, wonderful!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one whose thoughts wander in the nighttime. I thought I'd write more of an adult poem for this challenge, since so many of the Nye poems I adore are adult poems.

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  8. Brenda, this poem is full of imagery that places me right there with you. Not sleeping is an intermittent problem, and I never seem to figure out what causes it.

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    1. I never know why I can't sleep either. Sometimes I've forgotten something... and I can't sleep until I write it down. Often it's a poem swimming up from the depths.

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  9. What a wonderful moment you captured Brenda and surprise fanciful moment at the end. I like your comment above ,"it's a poem swimming up from the depths," sounds like a part of a poem too.

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