Several of the provided prompts led me to writing the poem “Everything is Gone”. The first suggestion to appeal to me was to write a poem in a couplet style called the “landay”, with 9 syllables in the first line and 13 in the second. The second suggestion was in the form of a question, basically, “When did you become aware of your own mortality?”. For me, that was age five, the first day that I came home from school to discover that no one was in the house but me. My parents told me that when they got home and found me, I was beyond panic…shattered.
Employing the landay, I have taken liberties with it. I have not written a two-line poem, but a poem consisting of four couplets. I have let sentences run on from one couplet to the next. Also, I have begun a new sentence in the middle of the first line of a couplet. I have a hope to jar or shock the reader with a disjointed or awkward feeling.
“Everything Is Gone”
There are no more towels left to trade.
Two last scraps hung from a dead branch, near the dry bucket.
The larger is mine, since Father died.
Mother’s is covering my baby sister’s face, now,
one corner wet, where I spit on it,
for her to suck on, the rest to keep flies off her eyes
until she’s dead. Then I’ll walk away
with cloth to trade for a bite of food before I die.
Copyright © 2017-04-01, by E. W. Bennefeld.