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National Poetry Month Writing Prompt 20/30

National Poetry Month Writing Prompt 20/30

Hello YCA Fam,

April is National Poetry Month, and many poets choose to write one poem each day during April to celebrate the occasion. This year, we are going to be posting a writing prompt every day during April to help you with this writing challenge. Many of these prompts were developed by the YCA Artistic team for our weekly writing workshop, Check The Method. If you write poems to these prompts, share them on social media and tag us (@youngchiauthors on Twitter & @youngchicagoauthors on Instagram).

Here is prompt number 20, which uses poems by Geffrey Davis & Sandra Cisneros:


Hopes that you have for yourself
—List an animal you associate with each hope
Fears that you have for yourself
—List an animal you associate with each fear
Family facts (how many siblings you have etc- anything you want to list here is fine)
Read: King County Metro by Geffrey Davis
In Seattle, in 1982, my mother beholds this man
boarding the bus, the one she’s already
turning into my father. His style (if you can
call it that): disarming disregard—a loud
Hawaiian-print shirt and knee-high tube socks
that reach up the deep tone of his legs,
toward the dizzying orange of running shorts.
Outside, the gray city blocks lurch
past wet windows, as he starts his shy sway
down the aisle. Months will pass
before he shatters his ankle during a Navy drill,
the service discharging him back into the everyday
teeth of the world. Two of four kids will arrive
before he meets the friend who teaches him
the art of roofing and, soon after, the crack pipe—
the attention it takes to manage either
without destroying the hands. The air brakes gasp
as he approaches my mother’s row,
each failed rehab and jail sentence still
decades off in the distance. So much waits
in the fabulous folds of tomorrow.
And my mother, who will take twenty years
to burn out her love for him, hesitates a moment
before making room beside her—the striking
brown face, poised above her head, smiling.
My mother will blame all that happens,
both good and bad, on this smile, which glows now,
ready to consume half of everything it gives
My Wicked Wicked Ways by Sandra Cisneros


Write a poem that describes a single moment in time but traces that moment back into history and/ or into the future