10 December 2010


One day while I was substituting in English class, a student complained to me of writer's block. I suggested he try to make an alphabetical list of images in hopes that even one might germinate into the free verse poem he was assigned. Later I jotted my own twenty-six.


Applesauce with cherry Jello mixed in (elementary school lunch tray, dessert slot)
Broken household appliances rusting in front yards
Car grills with extension cords dangling
Dogs wondering, crossing the highway without looking both ways
Every Sunday at the kitchen table, playing cribbage with the Jesuit priest in town
Frost on the inside of the windshield
Goose down-comforter (inherited)
Half-price milk with a $4.50 price tag (while it lasts)
Ice cleats gripping into ice roads
Jet: morning, noon, or night. Out and back
Kneecaps, bowlegged, sliding left to right with each stride
Luminaries for Christmas. Ice globes with a candle inside.
Mothers carrying fur-wrapped bundles--presumably babies.
Neck warmers knit from musk ox coat
Oil tanks that say "Shorty's Shop" next to each house
Parkas of royal blue, burgundy and gray
"Quyana" cabs convening in the church parking lot awaiting dispatch
Red tea with extra cinnamon
Sorel -60 boots with red and black laces
Tire tracks across the tundra
UV lamp on the secretary's desk
Voltage running at variant frequency--fast alarm clocks
Walrus meat thawing in the boarding school dormitory
x- (always forced)
Yogurt class at the college on a Tuesday night
Zero degrees located on the upper quadrant of the outdoor thermometer

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