The day 25 prompt was to write a poem that began with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then went elsewhere with it, the idea being for the original to furnish a sort of backdrop for my work, but without influencing me so much that I felt stuck just rewriting the original. For example, I could begin, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” or “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” or “I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster,” or “they persevere in swimming where they like”. Any poem would do to provide my starter line – just so long as it gave me scope to explore. I decided to write a poem beginning with the last line of one of my favourite poems, The Chances by Wilfred Owen, and carry on Owen’s story where he left off, going back to England and the life Jim has left behind.
The ruddy lot all rolled in one. Jim’s mad.
What were the chances?
My poor poor Jimmy
I screamed when they brought the telegram
Thought he was knocked out for sure
Much much worse
They told me not to go see him
But course I did
I’ll never forget that sight long as I live
Wide eyes, shaking, froth round those lips
which used to kiss me deep and slow
I must have looked the same
staggering out of that hospital
That hell hole for the lost men
Crying, shaking, threw up on the steps
I screamed once more
pulled at my hair
and wrenched that damn diamond off my finger
Copyright D M Day 2016
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