The prompt simplified: “Write about something you want to protect…If this is a first person poem, allow the speaker to be vulnerable.”
Of course, after rounding up and rejecting the usual suspects: grandchildren, ground water, penguins, the environment, I recognized that this vulnerable “first person” wants most to protect her self-esteem. And then a wonderful thing happened! I once again came across Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish to all of us this year. It’s here in its entirety:
Let me also quote a few lines:
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
A poem may be added here later – or maybe not, but the prompt was well-served anyway.