General Poetry posted September 16, 2016 Chapters: 1 2 -3- 4... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
A beloved possession became a shattered dream.

A chapter in the book Euthanasia Betty: An Anthology

My Shell Babes

by johnwilson

Free Verse Contest Winner 
Sometimes the soul takes pictures of things it has wished for,
but never seen.
-Anne Sexton

As a child Clemence stood on tippy-toes,
her breath elaborating the room's silence,
fingers barely tracing smooth ivory
sculpted into boy and girl babes,nestling
inside their alabaster oyster shell,
playing a harp of stringed pearls.

She'd conjure visions of herself dancing
a tango in filigreed opera houses boarding
steamships misty in harbors at sunset,
her destiny hovering--heaving with
fat moments of sheer wonder like
pelicans streaking off breezes of a wave.

Heightened moments now quickened
to neglected years, smeared opportunities
lay lackluster-brown.

Today she blows smoke clouds from a cigarette.
Her breath drains all worldly thoughts--
I was a shrinking violet with fangs.

Clemence had survived drowning in fears of dying
or never dying and the shell babes remained
an insistent reminder of repeated failures.

And she, a lonely middle-aged woman huddled
against a window, dwells on the fate of her
cracked and beaten shell babes sculpture;
resting on the mantel among dingy souvenirs--
knick-knacks of false adventures inspired by travel brochures.


Writing Prompt
Write a free verse poem about a prized object of any kind. No rhyming patterns.

Free Verse
Contest Winner


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Artwork by Dick Lee Shia at

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