Inspired by “Possibilities” by Wislawa Szymborska
I prefer bare hands and low-burning candles
I prefer simmering sauces, trusting strangers
anything that requires boots
I prefer the “having been” of an ablative absolute
a boy jumping to touch the doorway’s lintel
I prefer the velvet of a goat’s mouth
the sting of wood smoke and flower beds without borders
I prefer the word on the page and sitting alone at dusk
when the barn owl comes to hunt
I prefer unlikely encounters and waving again
and again from a distance
I prefer the long way round and keeping a secret
the silence after the deer has fled
—Patricia Cupp (Marion County)
This poem is from Dressing for the Weather (Chatter House Press, 2014).
Patricia Cupp is a retired teacher of English and Latin. She enjoys traveling and gardening, both of which are often the subject of her poetry. She recently published a collection of poems entitled Dressing for the Weather. She is a lifelong resident of Indiana and a member of the poetry group InterUrban.
Poetry Prompt: Listing Your Favorites
Write a list poem of what you like best in the world. Or you might narrow the list to things you appreciate about a certain season, place, or person. You could also write a poem listing things you dislike or fear. Let the sound of language and your five senses guide you as you leap from image to image and make each line memorable. End with an image that has resonance. “Possibilities” by Wislawa Szymborska is available on the internet.
Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem and prompt every day in April. Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagner selected these poems and wrote the prompts.