Congratulations to Marjorie Moorhead of Lebanon, NH our featured community prompt writer.
The writing prompt is a weekly writing challenge cosponsored by DailyUV and Joni Cole, author, founder of The Writer's Center in White River Junction, and believer in bringing out the inner writer in all of us.
What's a prompt? A trigger to get you writing.
Next week’s prompt is: "I’ve changed my mind"
What’s the key to being featured? Well, DailyUV is a website for all things Upper Valley -- so what we like best of all are entries not just from local writers, but grounded in where we live.
You can participate by sending your piece (300 words or less) to email@example.com by next Wednesday at midnight.
Last week’s prompt was, “Welcome to the neighborhood” Here’s our featured entry.
By Marjorie Moorhead of Lebanon, NH
Peonies have announced
This is their time to blossom
Iris have faded. It’s another’s turn now
Robust bursts, fragrant and young
Until tired and thin, floating to earth
They’ll step aside for the next suitor
Why so top-heavy? I ask of Peony
It only brings you down to earth too soon
Bowing like a servant
Spilling luscious fragrance and soft petals
Like overripe fruit, blushing and bruised
It is time to exit the stage; the end of an act
Color schemes, fragrances, insects and birds
All have their coordinated sequence
Next it will be Lilly, yellow then orange
Standing tall and bright
The display parades on and on into Fall
Winter, Spring, and Summer again
Those watching will grow older
And at their own pace, maybe wiser
Welcome to the neighborhood!
Congrats to all of our participants!
By Gail Fancher of Hartland, VT
“Welcome to the neighborhood! My name is Beth.”
Beth sang out as she stepped into the shade of the porch escaping the hot July sun. The warm summer wind wafted by as Susan greeted her new neighbor. Beth's appearance on the doorstep momentarily caught Susan off guard as she was not expecting visitors. Beth was breathtakingly beautiful. Her sun- kissed skin and dirty blond hair were complimented by her orange sundress and matching sun hat. Her hair cut had curled tips that fell just below her ears. She stood patiently while Susan processed her presence on her front porch. It was only milliseconds but Susan realized Beth had a plate in her hands. Stuttering Susan's manners kicked in.
“Thank you. Did you want to come in?”
Susan scanned her living room. It was stacked with packing boxes and paper haphazardly thrown everywhere. Knick knacks and towels, clothing and dishes, everything but living room items met her glance. Susan searched around the living room for a chair to offer her guest. She knew the chairs were in the living room but they must have been buried by packing paper. She looked at herself as well. Dirty t-shirt, dusty ragged shorts-- not the best first impression she was sure of that. She turned back to the guest at the door and shrugged her shoulders helplessly. Her long bright red locks bouncing with the movement.
“Sorry. I’m not sure where the chairs are…”
Beth interrupted her and gave a reassuring laugh.
“It’s ok. We’ve all gone through moves too. I just wanted to drop off these treats and ask you to join us at the Bunco party this Tuesday night.”
“What’s Bunco?” asked Susan.
“It’s a dice game. It’s a great excuse to get together and meet the neighbors. Will you join us?” asked Beth.
By Pat Therrian of White River Junction, VT
Hey, you folks look lost. Where you headed? Oh, over to 5B, that’s just downstairs and to the right, about three doors from where Charlie’s always sleeping. Yeah, Charlie stays over in 8B, but sometimes he locks himself out and sleeps in the hall. The kids like to try and stack things on his head. Every Tuesday night Mrs. Wong over in 4C cooks up a week’s worth of mackerel for her kids’ school lunches. You get used to the smell. Nah, the smoke alarms don’t work and neither do half the lights half the time. But if you want to give your neighbors a good laugh, call the super some time. He’s not been seen in three years.
By C.L. Brown of Hartford, VT
Welcome to the neighborhood is something that I have never heard. It's hard to feel like you are "welcome" anywhere when you go through life day by day hearing the voices of your father and step-mother telling you that you won't amount to anything. Hearing the disappointment in your own mother’s voice when you tell her that you are pregnant with your first child. You cry because you want the child that is growing inside you. Everyone around you tries convincing you that you are being selfish, you need to get rid of the child and that you don’t need a child when you are 20-years-old. Convincing yourself that the child that you are carrying for 9 months is not a mistake because he is your blood. Vowing the day that you give birth to your beautiful blue-eyed baby boy that nothing on this earth would ever prevent him from knowing the love of a mother. That he will not experience the tormented childhood that you did.
Years pass and more children come, the man that you swore an oath to becomes your victim to torture. You watch at distance as he takes everything you throw his way and does his best to prevent you from seeing that you are killing him. Then one night you see that he is not strong enough to let go, so you do it for him. Push him over the edge and force him to leave. Well done my dear. You were successful at pushing away the one person that could love you within your flaws. Now begins the path of self-destruction.
One day you wake up to find that the path your on leads you nowhere and your children will never understand why you dragged them through your pain. You find a friend in an unlikely place and you save each other from tormented loneliness. Almost a year later you find that you are pregnant again. Happiness consumes you and the ones around you. You're blinded to everything that he is doing. Telling yourself that he is faithful, that nothing can split you apart. Then one day out of the blue, his affair comes to light and your world shatters. His meaningless apology comes in the days that pass and you take out your anger on him until you realize that you're tormenting another's soul.
Today you are still with the man that cheated on you knowing that the trust is still gone. He starts doing the things that he did before when he found another to give his attention to. You feel alone, you feel used. You feel like an intruder in your own home. Nothing is as it seems and you dedicate all your energy to make everyone believe that you are fine, and happy. When you are alone reality crashes in a tells you that this is just a meaningless game. You are not depressed, you just need a way out. A place to belong. A place to feel free. To feel welcome.