Thursday, April 16, 2020

DMC: "A Story Lost" by Kay Jernigan McGriff


I wander
through the shelves
looking for a story
I lost somewhere
among the stacks
of stories
I devoured.
It’s an old-fashioned
story, with children
and a pony pulling
a cart through
summer mornings.
There might have been
strawberries or blackberries
kissed by the sun
and probably
a rambunctious mutt
bounding through a meadow.
I look for my lost story,
pulling books off the shelves
and flipping through pages,
but no one can tell me
its title
as I wander
through the shelves.

© 2020 Kay Jernigan McGriff. All rights reserved.

For the back story of this poem, visit A Journey Through the Pages.

Our second of three challenges from My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice: A Guide to Writing Poetry & Speaking Your Truth by Patrice Vecchione (Seven Stories Press, 2020) is to write a poem about a time you lost something or somebody. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our April 2020 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, April 24th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice, courtesy of the publisher.


  1. Such a lovely poem has come out of what must have been a frustrating experience for you as a child, Kay. Before I knew the back story, I identified with the poem metaphorically— a frustrated writer searching for the elusive story idea. I love that your poem works both ways!

  2. I read this earlier and love how you travel the shelves in your poem, Kay. I wonder how many have "lost" stories they would love to find? It's a wonderful 'lost' poem!

  3. Thanks, Michelle, for highlighting my poem. It was fun to write once I finally settled on what "lost" thing to focus on. I definitely feel the same way about stories I'm trying to write that float just out of reach.

    Linda, I love thinking about all the lost stores that could be found lurking along those shelves.

  4. I love your poem, Kay, how it takes me on this search, but also with a sense of loss. "but no one can tell me the title." This happens more and more, the loss of titles. Doesn't Billy Collins have a poem about this?

  5. There's so much longing in this poem, Kay. The opening sentence makes me wonder if we can ever get back those magical books that swept us away when we were children.

  6. I can completely relate! Love this!

  7. I've tried to find some of my childhood favorites without success - now just happy memories. Great work.