Prompt #14 (for December 28th): Credit Where Credit is Due Department: I have adapted this prompt from one in the annual and excellent Two Sylvias Press Advent Calendar…
An earwig in amber. A ticket to the premiere of the Marx Brothers’ Horsefeathers. An advance advertisement for the iPhone XIX. What do you not expect to find in an envelope that’s been sent to you (assuming you still receive mail)? Write a poem in which you receive something very strange in an envelope. Be sure to include details such as where the envelope was sent from, whether the address is handwritten or typed, what sort of stamp is on it, etc. For extra credit, lend extra mystery by having the speaker (whoever he/she/they might be) try to figure out who sent the envelope.
six stamps and a watermark
broad, loopy initials in faded ink
I take to be my name.
who would be sending me,
now that the festive season is over,
aught but bills and circulars?
the rough brown envelope
gives way under cautious probing
revealing a crisp manila punch-card
no name. no return address.
Insert Card. This Side Up
The plain font barks instruction.
Within my hands this
wafer-thin hedge against Republic’s fall –
an empty ballot
from the year I was born.