The Morning After

A couple of years ago in one of my poetry courses we had to write a short work of fiction and a poem that described the morning after a significant event. My prompt was to write about the morning after a parent either (a) backed into their child in the driveway or (b) started to drive with the child in their carrier on the car (I can’t remember the exact wording). Despite my attempts, I can’t find the short story, which is upsetting because although it was hard to write, it turned out much better than I thought simply because of the difficulty of the subject. I did, however, come across the poem I wrote and figured I would share.

The Morning After
Silky sheets desolate, icy touch freezing the heart.
Familiar waking noise: pop and sizzle, clang and beep.
Loving laughter. No.
Hardwood to tile, butterflies to bees. A nest disturbed.
Yellow sun-glow, sparkling white. Clean. Empty.
A witness! Green light, aroma slight.
Splash. Stir. Sip.
Dewy air, table, and chair. Lone stare.
A hesitant touch. Two shy words. “Honey, I-“.
<Squealing breaks. Slide, scrape, bang. Terror.
Tremble. Splatter. “Our daughter, Ben!”
Phonetic arrows, pummeling ire.
Guilty arms circling pain, mistrust.
Whispers of fault, regret. Forgiveness.  
The monitor cries.
Here’s the challenge: write a poem or short story about the morning after a significant event in the life of a couple. Don’t go easy and pick the morning after their wedding day or something happy. Make it difficult. Challenge yourself. Channel those emotions and see where they take you.
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