PROMPT #423 – HOW TO __________

We’ve all seen or heard of the series of instructional books “For Dummies.” They even seek to provide a “Complete Idiot’s Guide” to nearly every endeavor known to humankind. They all seek to show “How To” do something. Admit it, we’ve all attempted to search You Tube for instructions about something or other.

So this week we look to you to provide poetic information on how to do something. How to use a left handed ganglion wrench. How to boil water. How to write a “How To” poem. Tell us what to do, or more importantly, how to do it. I assure you we will be better served for it!


How to Recognize Yourself

In somewhat of a hurry, she quickens her steps. Her eyes shift right as her side vision catches a glimpse of scurried movement in a store window.  In what seems like a nanosecond, her eyes are looking ahead of her again.  Just like that, her pace slows drastically, as her eyes again shift right in a nearly imperceivable attempt to pull themselves together.  “No,” they try to convince themselves, “that is not her.  That is not us.”  She allows herself to come to a full stop.  She turns to face the window, to stare into those eyes that betray her.  The woman staring back at her has sparse brows, and even sparser lips.  Her shoulders droop, negating the fact that she feels erect.  Her upper arms sag.  She wears sensible shoes.  She doesn’t know what the big hurry was.

Eyes search for signs of
former beauty.  Christ reminds  
us, we are His bride.

© Marie Elena Good, 2023



Forgetting a true love?
The formula is simple.
For the one who held your heart
has been equally held in return.
You yearn for it to keep you filled,
keep you fulfilled, but it doesn’t all ways.

So, you weed through your feelings,
dealing with the pain and heartache
(and it may even break you).
But you choose to linger
as you trace your finger around your heart.

And so you start.
You discard every picture in your mind’s eye,
but it isn’t possible. Each and every memory lives
and breathes within you. Every twinkle of the eye,
each smile that warmed your heart takes you back
and you realize you can’t forget.

You find the cards and notes that you wished you
could have just discarded, but you have 312 reasons why
you couldn’t bring yourself to do it. 
Each word of affection gave direction to your heart
and you start to think of her again in that way.
Every X and O to end the session was a message that 
rooted deeply, filling you completely and bringing you
closerthanthisclose once again. 

And then you realize
how much you ache for that look, that smile, that kiss
that could bridge a gap 1600 miles wide if need be.

And there’s this catalog of poems you had written
to show you were smitten by her very being,
Looking at her as if you were seeing her for the first time,
for the thousandth time. 

The sound of her voice had soothed you
as if it had chosen only your ears to placate and sate with whispered
nothings that sweetly thrilled you. 

It kills you now that true love had sailed away,
It failed you in a way that saddens you to this day. So you vow to forget,
to let bygones be and you see it isn’t easy. Your stomach is queasy.
And you determine there is one and only one way to forget a true love. 
You don’t. You just carry the baggage, the guilt, the pain and all the loving memories
with you for the rest of your life. You should forget your old phone number.
That would be so much easier.

© Walter J Wojtanik - 2023