#NaPoWriMo2022 – Early Bird Prompt & Day Fourteen

The absence of the Witch does not / Invalidate the spell 
After Emily Dickinson

We counted all the none-witches. The waterlogged women 
parcelled in their tiny, tidy, Christian graves.

their muted markers, talked of mother, daughter, sister, wife 
found innocent by the drowning of their sins
and a rope hauled shoreward too late in search of certainty. 

Within the magic of madness, they too may have thought
there was spell work in their prayers.

Wove a cursing hope into their repentance,
believed power in their charms, in their unheard voices 
and clung to those last drifting thoughts
before the current snatched those too. 

There Once Was A Beginning, But This Is Not It 

We're picking typos out of the script, staking them up like billboards. 
Huge things. 
Obvious in retrospect, 
through another set of eyes, in a spotlight of memory. 

Actors are improvising, ignoring, pretending 
there is no mistake, it's intentional, purposeful, a work of brilliance  

The opening fuck-up spray-painted in neon, is a fall-in-love moment. 
A heart-break, ice-cream binge disaster. Inevitable. 
We make it the centrepiece, then leave it on the cutting room floor,
find it again when the story no-longer makes sense

it is pivotal 

at least in part, like a cog clicking into place 
the movie machine does not run without it

we return 
to this start point that did not sound like action
or look like a clapperboard,
that we passed by, slogged through, and shook off
then could not find the thread of. 

In post, we admit that it was not perhaps the moment it all began
and there was a second before it
when the clock started ticking. 

We cannot think what was,
but we know it
in our marrow
when we lie awake at night
the ceiling a screen that it plays out on
before dawn burns the negative
and we draw an echo of it in the ash. 

There once was a beginning, but this is not it. 

I’m late to the party, I know. I started April with the best of intentions, but instead of writing a poem each day, I’ve been focussed my entries for the Bath Short Story Award, and the Bristol Short Story Prize. With one out of the way, I decided I might as well have a go at writing some poems for NaPoWriMo and posting them here since I’ve been a little remiss in writing much for the blog.

Since I’m playing catch-up I’m doing both today’s prompt, and the early-bird prompt.

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