No Holds Barred Poetry Writing Challenge: Day 3

Have you ever stared at a blank screen, typing, deleting, typing, staring, deleting, and finally giving up after an hour-long unsuccessful session? That’s what’s been happening to me lately with this short story idea that has been inhabiting my mind for the past few months. Usually when I have an idea for a story, I let it marinate on my brain for a few days or weeks before I put it on the page. I do this to weed out the bad stories—if a story isn’t as good as I had originally thought, I usually forget about it after a couple of days. However, this idea stuck around, so I thought it had potential. Unfortunately, I just can’t seem to develop it into a decent short story. Maybe it could make a good poem? I’ll give it a try. I would call this poem the reverse version of the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

Stir the rice,
scrape mushed grains
from the bottom.
It’s overcooked, Ma.
The top is under—
let it simmer.
I have a friend coming.
You didn’t say
she was the same
color as dinner.
Don’t be racist.
Be practical—
switch this processed rice
for brown. Save your life,
it’s healthier—
you won’t be strung up
by your neck,
shot dead in the street
for touching it.
It’s not the fifties.
Year makes no difference on mortality,
miscegenation is a crime still
outlawed in Dixie.
When you meet her, you’ll see.
Fear her father,
fear his capabilities,
how he reacts to thoughts of you
plucking delicate petals from daisies.
We’re just friends.
Let that be the end—
we have no money for a coffin.

© 2015 Nortina Simmons

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