Play With Your Words Poetry Prompt # 11: “A Picture of My Mother”

I made my mom a Mother’s Day card yesterday, which put me in the mood for writing her a poem. So, here’s this month’s poetry prompt (you may do it with another picture/subject if you wish):

Find a picture of your mom. It could be one of the two of you together, one of her alone, or her with all the family or a friend.

Get a piece of scratch paper and list a bunch of words or phrases you associate with this photo. Get crazy. Get descriptive. Tap into your senses. Create metaphors or similes.

Once you have at least 20 words, or better yet, a list the length of the full page, circle your five favorite words or phrases from the list.

Rate each of these 5 favorites from 1 for weak, to 3 for strong.

Choose the strongest of your favorite words or phrases and write the first line of your poem. (You can write a poem in whatever form you like…quatrains, free verse, haiku…)

Once you have a good first line, write the rest of the poem. You may include your other favorite words or phrases, others from the list, or none at all. Just use that first line to take you into a poem that “remembers” your mother.

Here’s one I wrote for my mom and her best friend Marie.

Capitola by the Sea

Capitola by the Sea
A place for you and Marie.
The wave’s sighs,
Kids’ happy cries,
Ice cream and
The balmy breeze.

This pairing holds extra special memories for me this Mother’s Day, because Marie is the dear friend, my spare mom, that we lost to cancer earlier this year. She and my mom shared a friendship that spanned over sixty years, and Capitola was an annual event for our families from the time of my childhood.

We won’t be going to Capitola this year. Our spirits remain too raw. This Mother’s Day, as I reflect on how my mom’s continued presence in my life is such a precious gift from God, I will also remember Marie, and those memories will be filled with love.