Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: “…write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way.”
I chose Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Burning the Letters.”
On Burning Journals, or Marshmallows
Walk through wettish woods until you eye
that perfect spear. This may take some time
if you’re a perfectionist, but take the time it takes.
While you’re at it, collect each imperfect spear
you come across; build a sacrificial pyre
out of those. Strike that match you packed. Fire!
Sit back. Open that bag of marshmallows
and have at ‘em; stab a few straight through
with your perfect spear. Then hold on a sec’.
Refrain until angry red flames ask for it, and
then, only then, right into the thick of it all,
sock it to ‘em. Give those marshmallows
a couple of spins. Warning: At this point,
a novice may miss her big chance due to
hesitation; I know of one who sat, wistful,
wishing and waiting for a clean plate to appear
on which she might lick the bitter-sweet black
back to an ivory past — but all vanished into ash.
Don’t do that. Wait for the crumpling; that’s
just the right time to pull closer — the time
for a cooling farewell kiss. Open wide.
No matter what things look like, or how long
it takes, chew until sweet enough to swallow
deep down. Drown the ground. Take your
smeared spear home; despite appearances,
it’s a keeper. Stick it in your umbrella stand.
Those rainy days will never be the same.