NaPoWriMo – Day 4

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NaPoWriMo – Day 4

For day four the prompt involved writing a poem inspired by T.S. Eliot’s line “April is the cruellest month” in his epic poem The Waste Land.  The prompt asked for a poem exploring what I think is the cruellest month.  I thought long and hard about each month of the year, and the negative things each one may hold, and it struck me that every month of the year will be hated by someone for some reason.  So I decided to write a 12 stanza poem, consisting of vignettes outlining why each month is cruel to 12 characters, human and animal, for whatever reason, some seemingly more superficial than others.  Here it is.

The Cruellest Month

Big Ben strikes twelve
And a new year begins
Tears dilute the champagne
Whose stem presses against
My naked finger
Cold and painful
This time twelve months back
When I surprised him
Surprised indeed
Walking into our flat
Her naked body straddling his
If I’d stayed with my family
For all the season
As was planned
I’d never have known
I’d be his wife
I’d be happy
January is the cruellest month

Red roses fill the office with perfume
My desk is empty
I’ve never received anything on this day
Never been kissed
For me there are thorns instead of flowers
Bitter taste in mouth
Instead of chocolate
February is the cruellest month

Madness, madness, madness
Run,run, run, run, run
I cannot breathe
My legs hurt
Why can’t they leave us alone?
Damn greyhounds
Can’t stop
Mustn’t get caught
March is the cruellest month

The water in the shower suddenly turns cold
I shriek, too high
Shit
I stumble out of the shower, shivering
My clothes are gone
My towel’s gone
The laughing starts as the doors fly open
And I am covered with
Something
Ketchup?
Chilli?
Blood
Blood
From a pig, I find out later
April is the cruellest month

The letters blur before my eyes
All the knowledge is forgotten
My hand shakes far too much to write
My tummy hurts
My tears fall
The man at the front
Says ‘times up, pen’s down’
It’s all over
Everything’s over
And I’ve not written a word
May is the cruellest month

Ten years ago on this date
They came and told me
My son had died
My little boy
Two weeks before his 21st
They said it would get easier with time
The pain would numb
But no
Every year it gets harder
June is the cruellest month

Today is two years
Since we stopped hoping
I hold another stick in my hand
Another negative stick
Another failure
This day next year
Will be one year
Since we stopped checking
It’s never going to happen
Not now
July is the cruellest month

The pain is excruciating
The heat radiating from my back
Fills the head
With unbearable fire
The stinging makes my jaw clench
Causing my teeth to throb
Inside my chattering mouth
So cold
So hot
Tomorrow
More shade
More water
Less sun
Less beer
August is the cruellest month

Stupid kids
Little shits
Screaming and running
Through the corridors
My head is pounding already
As if a single one of them
Could get their thick heads to understand
Shakespeare’s beautiful language
Or what Wilfred Owen went through
In the trenches
Not much older than they are now
How many days until Christmas break?
September is the cruellest month

In my bedroom I peer out of the window
At my friends and classmates
Out in the costumes
Laughing and having fun
Collecting chocolate
Carrying pumpkins
I jump as I hear the door slam
Father is home
I hear mother’s fearful voice
Trying to placate him
The annual celebrations annoy him so
He cannot stand it
The worst night of the year
Tomorrow will be bad
But will seem a dream compared with today
October is the cruellest month

Huddled in the corner
Whimpering
I’m so frightened
Why do they have to do it?
Every year
Every year for the last 400
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
My master strokes my head
The rest of the year
I have protected him
Would lay down my life for him
I lick his hand and he feeds me biscuits
Cuddling me close
Please let it be over soon
November is the cruellest month

The snow is deep outside
I dare not go out
Not with this hip
I think there’s some soup
Who would ever have thought
Tomato soup for Christmas dinner
My wife smiles at me
Her wedding dress is crisp and white
I miss her more and more each day
December is the cruellest month

Copyright D M Day 2016

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More information about NaPoWriMo can be found at http://www.napowrimo.net/

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