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Monday, April 4, 2016

NaPoWriMo Day #4: May in Detroit

Welcome to day four of NaPoWriMo. Today's prompt from is as follows:

And now, for our (optional) prompt. In his poem “The Waste Land,” T.S. Eliot famously declared that “April is the cruelest 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 cruelest month, and why. Perhaps it’s September, because kids have to go back to school. Or January, because the holidays are over and now you’re up to your neck in snow. Or maybe it’s a month most people wouldn’t think of (like April), but which you think of because of something that’s happened in your life. Happy (or, if not happy, not-too-cruel) writing!

May in Detroit

I pound the pavement — a fox hunting prey,
turning the corner, it should only be a few feet;
rains grow heavy, I begin to panic when I see nothing
but a gas station, did I take a wrong turn?
There I am,
a heavy rain hangs from my hair,
blurring my sight;
May is the cruelest month in Detroit!
according to the clerk, I took a wrong turn,
my black dress pants are now covered in mud,
my white shirt soaked, thank God for a cami!
then a woman driving by took pity
and picked me up to offer assistance,
to help me find the apartment to start my new life;
I look like a drowned rat
as I sit shot gun, looking for the address
the ferocity of the rain grows, the numbers blur—
but we finally arrive,
and I am praying it’s not like yesterday
as I walked through the May rains,
being turned away from every other apartment
in Roseville and East Pointe,
leaving Pennsylvania with no job is risky.

She drops me off at the front door,
I am barely dry and look horrible;
but the landlord meets me with enthusiasm,
and she shows me through the apartment;
hoping I will sign the lease after the parental signature—
with much pressure, despite the drowned rat look.

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