Mildred’s Junk?

This was written for the Puzzle Pieces prompt for Poetic Bloomings on June 9, 2013.
We were to answer a series of questions. Then we were to use those answers in our poem. Our Mother’s first name and the second random word were to be our title. The words I used were Mildred, leopard, Venice, photography, train, brussels sprouts, seven, green, pardon, junk, scissors, World War II, Cheryl, and Brook Street.

This poem took more time than it was worth, but it was the best way I knew how to write it.

My idea came from the second word I had chosen: junk. The only thing I could think of was the fact that Mother has many items in her bedroom, simply because there is little other space for her things in our house. I pictured her as having a disagreement with an unknown person who was appalled at what they considered her junk. Not every picture in the poem is sitting in her room, but they are old pictures we have somewhere in the house.

I started with prose and then whittled words as much as I could. It seemed so prosaic, so I decided to rhyme two lines in each stanza. Some of it is a bit forced, but I did finish it. Hooray!

Mildred’s Junk?

Pardon me? These items are not junk.
Books may collect dust, but it’s bunk
not to appreciate the written word.

The leopard-spotted robe on my bed
stays. And as I have often said,
put those scissors down.

You will not cut pictures to bring
your concept of order here. And that ring
is a favorite of mine.

See the picture of Cheryl over there?
She stands on Brook Street where
we lived when she and Sheryl Kay were young.

Mike is wearing his uniform in that shot.
It was during World War II, and the spot
where we met I’ll never forget.

You might wonder why Michael looks so small
next to that bridge. People are not all
that is important in photography.

You want junk? You are welcome to eat
those brussels sprouts. Take my seat
at this table. Too bad they are a pretty green.

Now take your train back home.
Then why don’t you simply roam
around Venice for a seven-month tour.

Just don’t bring home any souvenir junk.

Sheryl Kay Oder

4 thoughts on “Mildred’s Junk?

  1. if you noticed, the poems are trickling in this time, not flowing. Because I chose to place rhymes in the poem, it was a struggle for me, too. Thank you for your compliment.

  2. I am glad I read this post. When I saw the prompt, I immediately thought “No way I’ll be doing that one. Just too complicated for me”. Well, you did a great job and I like how you explained the process of how you wrote it. Perhaps I can give that a try. (or maybe not…call me chicken 😉 We’ll see if the muse cooperates with me.

    I like how your poem says a lot about the person without actually describing her but by describing her surroundings and what she’d say about them. Nice approach.

    • Thanks, Linda. Because I had enough time to write a poem this time, I struggled with it. I wonder if I would have done that well had I chosen other random words. They seemed to work together well. Much of what I had written in prose was extra explanation, but it helped my mind zero in on what was important in the little story. My guess is all of us express our personalities in what we choose to keep around us.

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