It wasn’t that I could not get up
the nerve to water-ski
or that I hated
myself in a bathing suit
It was bare feet
of tanned twins
next to mine
in that Waskesiu boat
as Indian princesses
the pink of shells
beside my pasty
that made me feel
not one of the beautiful people.
© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly
Prompt – Inspiration
The inspiration for this April 2011 poem was Adele Kenny’s memoir prompt. It begins:
For this prompt, try writing a memoir poem about an experience that haunts you. This is not to suggest a bad experience but, rather, a memory that continues to inform the present.
Memoir poems are narrative because they tell stories. However, we often see memoir “poems” that “narrate” in what is essentially prose (with a couple of good images, a few similes or metaphors, and stanzaic arrangements). Most of these poems don’t succeed because they never reach beyond the poet’s impulse to “tell.” The poem has to be more than the story – it has to be about what happened because of the story.
Read the rest of the prompt and a sample poem HERE.
This April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!
This poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Irene Latham at her blog Live Your Poem.