Thursday, October 11, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Totally Optional Prompts

A new project from refugees from the Poetry Thursday group: Mike at Word Anger and Tiel at Knocking From Inside are hosting a new Thursday shared poetry event.

This weeks prompt was from a Japanese poem written in 730 AD.

The salt girl reminded me of the year I wanted to be the Morton Salt Girl for Halloween.

"When It Rains, It Pours"

The halloween I turned nine, I went
as the Morton Salt Girl. My scowling sister,
costumed in teenage disdain, refused
to walk me to our neighbors'
doors. She stood just out of reach
of the flashlight, four c cell heavy
in one hand. My candy bag
sagged from a spindly arm. Fifth
grade girls practiced being beautiful,
stuffed tissues in tube tops beneath
hand me down cheerleader outfits. Boys
from my class roamed our streets in self
conscious packs, dressed tough,
but not yet knowingly cruel. In yellow
rubber boots, I hoped for rain that never came
from a too clear sky, my raincoat
the color of egg yolks; the perfect target.

--LJCohen, 2007


  1. i love this.. it is so dear,, so full of pride and personality... i am sure if you retained that degree of self worth,, you are a wonderful woman today... lovely....

  2. I don't know what a Morton Salt girl is but that matters not one jot -- I really enjoyed reading this, a lovely, well-written vignette.

  3. "In yellow
    rubber boots, I hoped for rain that never came
    from a too clear sky, my raincoat
    the color of egg yolks; the perfect target."

    What a vivid image! I greatly enjoyed reading it.

  4. Oh what a wonderful poem! Calls to mind many a halloween from my own youth. There are so many lines I savor in this that I can't pick out a particular favorite. Thank you for sharing this memory with us!

  5. I know both Halloween and the Morton Salt girl. Your phrase 'raincoat the color of egg yokes; the perfect target' takes this poem into a well-layered piece. Very nice!

  6. The layers of rejection resonate so well with those pre-teen years, and a few thereafter. Good job.

  7. Your poem took me back to those Halloween days of youth...

    it was a fun poem to read.

  8. I love this. So many good lines, and a perfect ending.

    I had a raincoat and rain hat that resembled the Morton Salt Girl. It was adult sized and very fashionable, I must say!

    Thanks for the link. I'll check out the new poetry project.

  9. This is terrific. The language is perfect to describe this time in childhood. Especially sure was "but not yet knowingly cruel./ In yellow". Wonderful work capturing a range of children/young adults in such a short space.

  10. I can see your costume - and your sister - as you set the scene so well. I love this! I'm glad the "everyone else is doing it" didn't take you over.

  11. You expressed a very brave, child-like individuality! I especially love the lines: "Boys/
    from my class roamed our streets in self/conscious packs, dressed tough,/but not yet knowingly cruel." So true!

  12. Thank you all for your lovely comments. It was nice writing poetry from a prompt on Thursday again.

    Glad to see a new community forming.

  13. I love the tenderness in this -- it's very moving. And I love the idea of the Morton Salt Girl for a costume. It brings back a lot of memories. Lovely poem.

  14. I always liked that little girl on the salt box. You made her special. Nice.

  15. salted and seasoned to perfection in Halloween discomfort.

  16. This poem is wonderful, I loved every line of it. It brough back memories of the salt girl and Halloween. What a brave girl you must have been.