NaPoWriMo Day 8: How To Write A Poem

by Rachel Creager Ireland

You can write a poem about practically anything:
a dream, a moment in time, an event, like
the time you tried to put a baby bird back in the nest
and it flopped to the ground and died.
The time you helped an injured bird out of the road,
left it in the weeds, and did not euthanize or heal it.
The time you casually told your 13-year-old
a brutal truth and she cried.
Start with an image.
Look for the light radiating out of the words.
Follow the light. Keep adding words.
After a while, themes appear.
Something about the incompatibility of birds and roads?
Is it how attempts at kindness inevitably fall short?
Is it how you have to keep going,
even when it is futile to try?
You might pretend this poem is just striking images,
stories that don’t need meaning, that mean nothing,
attempts to make light through language,
but if you get it right,
the reader will know better.