{npm: solus 24 – p7 gets the skinny again}

As long as March seemed to last, I find it astounding indeed that the end of April seems to just abruptly have been thrust upon us. How is it the end of the month already!? What a long, strange trip it’s…being. Maybe it has something to do with it being a leap year… time is flinging us into a future we cannot imagine, and it keeps catching us off guard…

Meanwhile, Laura reminded us of our poetry meet-up this month a little earlier, and I’m grateful – most of us right now are having a hard time keeping track of what time of day it is, and whether or not we’ve bathed and eaten, much less trivial things like calendars and plans. My Poetry Peeps joining us this month are Andi, Laura, Tricia, Liz, Sara, and Rebecca. We wave hello to Kelly and John, who are elsewhere, deep in the quarantine outback, the requisite six states apart. (Or, something like that. Whatever works, you guys.)

Now more than ever, it seems we were prescient with this year’s poetry forays – seeing as our goal was EASY and “more refuge than challenge.” Oh, how we all need a refuge just now. We’re back this month with The Skinny – the eleven line form first invented in 2005 by poet Truth Thomas. You’ll recall the first and eleventh lines can be any length, and use the same words, in the same order or rearranged. The second, sixth, and tenth lines are identical. (Skinnys have a linked form, which would be amazing to play with if any of us had spare brain cells – this year, we do not.) And all other lines but the first and last are a single word – thus the name of “skinny,” as they appear rather narrow. (Fiddling with the font helps this appearance as well.)

…if we define essential, what is it? Is it what drags us upright in the morning? What brings us to our feet, instead of slumped in our seats, staring out at the rain (or snow – that was a shock for some this week)? Is it what extends our arms with care – or with coffee – for another? What defines essential? What underpins our routine, our neighborhoods, our society?

What it is that gets us up in the morning?


…how quickly might we learn to live without it?

To hit pause on those deep (or disquieting) questions, amble over to Wondering & Wandering, where Poetry Friday today is hosted by Christie Wyman. This weekend, friends, gather what is essential to you… and share it.

4 Replies to “{npm: solus 24 – p7 gets the skinny again}”

  1. I love how you’ve taken the ordinary word “then” and made it the repeating word…everything seems to turn…or NOT turn…on what’s next, in that somewhere out there “then.” This is spare and true and lovely.

  2. I love the word exigencies! One word with great meter and it adds so much to your poem. You’ve posed a deep question with this poem. As bad as isolation feels (even for this introvert), what I crave most now, and have always deemed essential, is ALONE time. Sadly, sheltering in place in a small space makes this next to impossible. I actually celebrate when they head out to work and I get a few hours to just enjoy the silence and stillness.

  3. As usual, I enjoyed your post as much as your poem. (With most PF posts, I just skip to the poem. That’s what I’m there for:>) Your questions made me think, especially your last one. I am lucky to only be missing my donut shop and some time alone and seeing our older daughter in person. But everybody is healthy right now, so I’m constantly reminding myself that THAT’S the only essential I really have to worry about right now. Well, that and books. And paying bills. :>D

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