Proper Care and Cleaning (of Voice)
What if I unglossed our painting before it dried?
What if my tears smeared our indigo finish?
What if I painted midnight horizons into pastels?
What if each correction lightened and undefined?
What if each stroke unburdened texture of weight?
What if ink flowed from canvas to brush?
What if I dabbed brush into pigment to clean it?
What if our cleaner lines were gobbled-up by my pen?
What if I sketched our imperfect borders into nothing?
What if I created perfection; a blank slate?
What if I swallowed the wrong words instead?
What if I said the right thing and you stayed?
My final poem of the year, written for the final Real Toads prompt ever: PLAY IT AGAIN! with REAL TOADS, hosted by Kerry O’Connor. I chose to write to Kerry’s LET’S FIND OUR POETIC VOICE prompt and then – as a tip of the hat – to erase, clean, or “un-write my voice”, as many of the wonderful prompts here directly contributed to my poetic voice growing and stretching in ways I never imagined possible.
Thank you to everyone at Real Toads – both the hosts and the contributors – for all of your efforts, encouragement, and support. I know this isn’t goodbye, so I’ll see you all out there next year.