{the #MoSt Poetry: 19}

Prompt #19 (for January 2, 2020)— The Ballad of Ibrahim Cadwallader — In the tradition of Wendy Toftmyer, Jenny Entwhistle, Sam Tolan, Mr. Zocolillo, and Wendy again (Thank You, Gillian, for their inception), write a poem for/to/about a fictitious person named Ibrahim (or Ibrahima) Cadwallader. Perhaps Ibby has just decided to run for office and has come to you for advice; maybe he/she/they is being teased in your junior high classroom, or Cadwallader was the title of the first Turkish/Welsh album to last 50 weeks on the Billboard Techno/House charts (with Ibrahim as its songwriter and lead singer) and he’s asked you to collaborate on his autobiography. Or you just keep it very simple and write a day-in-the-life narrative poem about this character…or somebody else entirely. Have fun—and remember you are the only one who can write this poem!


fish out of water
Ibrahim swam that summer
the year he turned ten
abruptly tall – hunched with it –
shoved in with six pale strangers

“Abraham!” that name –
three broad syllables, all wrong –
his for three long days
a summer camp sobriquet
his shy correction unheard

but one boy listened –
amplified his objection
turning “Abe” to “Ib”
invited understanding
(incited apology)

Ibrahim – Cadwallader –
caught mid-squint – photo finished
grins, pipe-stem arms linked,
best friends, fair-freckled and dark
brothers, no matter color