Tee Shirt, Avocado and Mountain – Day 20

GloPoWriMo 2019            Prompt Day 20: A talk poem


Tee Shirt, Avocado and Mountain


He arrives at my door bearing gifts; avocados.

But before I can thank him he begins talking

about the Tee Shirt I am wearing. That’s

a collector’s piece he tells me. I’m not sure

if he means me or my Tee Shirt, and awkwardly

we joke. I had one of those he says, but mine was

a shade of salmon. I can’t begin to picture

such a Tee Shirt on this man at my door.

I could picture that Tee Shirt avocado green;

the mountain in the background. My Tee Shirt

is pale blue. There’s something he’s not saying.


His Tee Shirt is lost he says. (Is he about

to go home and search through his drawers

I wonder?) Thank you for the avocados I say

and our conversation continues as I invite

him in for coffee. There was something

he wasn’t saying.


I can’t stay; we are travelling tomorrow

to visit my brother. I can see something

weighs heavy on his mind and he goes on

to tell me about his brother’s pole house

in a beautiful part of the country. The pole house

looks out on a beautiful mountain. But tears

have gathered in his eyes. He is telling me

he knows his brother will not have long

to look upon this beautiful mountain.

I, in turn, wish him a safe journey.


And as he goes I say how sad I am to hear

about his brother. Thank you for coming by

with the avocados was about all I could whisper.


Benita H. Kape © 20.4.2019



Oh, My Little One – GloPoWriMo – Day Three – Today’s prompt: Elegy


Oh, My Little One

to: Andrew

Oh, my little one,

you lived your few days

in an incubator, the better

to assist your survival.

We held you, but oh,

so seldom. Mostly I sat

at your side and watched

your incredible struggle;

hands grasping the tubes,

tugging and pulling at those

wretched contraptions, while

secretly I cheered you on.


That everlasting pause,

as the vicar,

elderly and perplexed studied

the tiny opening through which

he would drop the tiniest dribble

of blessed water to your forehead:

and signed the cross in the thin air

above you. All was rushed, yet all

was still as still. The next morning

they flew you to the big city, the

amazing hospital of modern miracles:

your little body opened but nothing

could be done. Where should be

a left ventricle of your heart, you

had little, valves awry. Today the

miracles increase; but not then.


This year it will be fifty since you

were born and died within a few days.

There are times, my son when it feels

like yesterday. And we are wont to say

the dead look down on us. Oh, my

little one, are you there?

Benita H. Kape © 3.4.2017

This took place in New Zealand. A few days previous the first ever heart replacement operation had taken place in South Africa. My husband and I were saying to each other ‘If only we had a spare heart to give’. It was forty years before I would learn that the left ventricle had never fully developed though I did know of valve malfunction at the time. Sometimes they thought that was sufficient information.


May, the Sky Falls In – NAPOWRIMO 2016 – DAY 4

Again for the 2nd day in a row this is the second poem I’ve written for the one prompt. I keep getting poems I was desperate for but for an entirely other project and so one here, one there.

May, the Sky Falls In

the rain
the sludge
the hours
the sky

all at once

the sky
is always
it feels like
it’s falling

the rain
sets in
for days,
on end

the hours
at your

the grass
as cars
and go

a verse
as long
as black
as a

oh May
it rained
how little
I saw
of it

Benita H. Kape © 5.4.2016

Prompt: And now, for our (optional) prompt. In his poem “The Waste Land,” T.S. Eliot famously declared that “April is the cruellest month.” But is it? I’d have thought February. Today I challenge you to write a poem in which you explore what you think is the cruellest month, and why.