Today’s National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) prompt is: We’d like to challenge you to write an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. But we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy that has a hopefulness to it.
I decided to write a mostly fictional elegy for the purpose of this prompt and to have hopefulness!
You always kissed me goodbye,
no matter how early, or late, or angry.
You didn’t only give the shirt off your back,
you opened your wallet, you home, your everything,
“It’s the right thing to do.”
You didn’t complicate things.
You kept your moral compass with you, always.
It guided you in every action you took,
and in every word you spoke.
You spoke numbers like words,
adding complex numbers in your head
as easily as saying, “I love you.”
I loved the way you laughed at your own jokes,
far longer than acceptable,
and yet I couldn’t help but laugh with you,
even if we looked crazy together.
And that crazy hair of yours,
how it stood straight up,
always at attention, just like you.
It didn’t matter how many years we got together,
it was never going to be enough.
I still see you though,
in the times she floods my cheeks with kisses,
in how she says hi to everyone, offering her smile,
and nothing but the truth,
in the math tests she aces without studying,
in the way her nose scrunches when she laughs,
and in her musket-brown, wild hair.
You live on still.
You bubble through her veins.
She inherited your goodness,
and sometimes that seems like enough.
Photo by ANNIE SPRATT