If you ever lack a subject that interests you enough to write a poem, do what other poets do and write about other poets! If you want to make a humorous connection, write in a style totally unlike the poet you’re writing about, which is what happened in the poem below.
To be honest, I didn’t plan this, but right in the middle of my determination to learn about prose poems, read prose poetry anthologies, and experiment with writing prose poems, I happened to see an elderly man with white hair and flowing beard who reminded me of Walt Whitman. As those of you who have read Leaves of Grass or other works by Whitman know, he wrote free verse freely with no line constrains like traditional verse has and no linear limits like paragraphs impose. So, here’s the poem pretty much as it came to me.
Leaving Walt at the Mall
by Mary Harwell Sayler
Coming out of Dunkin’ Donut, I walked right by Walt Whitman without even speaking. You know how he likes to include everyone in a conversation and so can go on a bit, but I just wanted to get home before my caffeine let down. Later I felt bad about giving him nothing more than a nod, especially since I’m sure his driver’s license expired long ago. He’s been gone for over 100 years now and was almost that old when he died, so I could have at least offered him a ride somewhere, but he might not have liked being confined in this little boxcar of a poem.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. Please do not use without permission. The poem “Leaving Walt at the Mall” originally appeared in the book Living in the Nature Poem, published in 2012 by Hiraeth Press.