This prompt became a melancholy meditation today when twelve people were assassinated in or near the offices of the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. The prompt: start with the image of a stone and add at least five of the following words to the poem: kamikaze, landslide, spill, bridge, vaccine, read, red, hollow, mismatch, tilt, freeway, pillow, harmonica, fairy shrimp. So many happier possibilities, but once I started, this is where it went:
Skipping stones –
a game the French call “Ricochet.”
And I discover this today, of all days.
A day when blood spills red in Paris streets.
A day when we read the names of the dead.
A day when our world tilts again toward madness.
And in the hollow silence, an echo of