Saturday, May 01, 2010

NaPoWriMo #26: things i learned last week

The next prompt from the workshop was based on the poem by William Stafford, "Things I Learned Last Week." We were to come up with our own list, then choose one item that spoke to us and "take it for a walk" as a page-long sentence. My list included:
  • It's time to change my toothbrush.
  • Pulling weeds goes faster while talking to a friend.
  • Dirty laundry breeds if left unattended.
  • Planting seeds is even more exciting than seeing them grow.
  • In the winter, a two year-old girl can go three days without a bath before she starts to get ripe. In spring, that goes down to two days.
I decided expand on that last one and came up with what is essentially a page-long (at least in longhand) sentence that for the sake of argument I will call a prose poem.


In the winter, a two year-old girl can go three days without a bath before the dirt begins to collect in the tender folds behind her ears, on the nape of her neck, in the hollow of her collarbone, spreading across the pale scalp beneath her hair—three days before that hair starts to lay in five different directions of greasy cowlicks that have to be subdued with a wet comb and rubber bands, then disguised with barrettes and bows, all while the small girl in question protests the combing out of those snarls and knots with "Ow! You're hurting me!" which makes you realize it's time to cut her baby curls short for the first time into a much more manageable bob, the disadvantage of which is that her hair actually starts to look greasier sooner, especially when she runs her sticky fingers through it after eating raisins—and of course, by spring the number of days allowable between baths goes down to only two because she will eat raisins, dig up ants around the stump in the back yard and then run her fingers through her hair.

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