It’s time for our monthly Sunday Swagger Challenge. Each month one member of my critique group provides a challenge for the rest of us to share on the first Friday of the month. This month, Molly Hogan challenged us to use Cheryl Dumesnil‘s poem, “Today’s Sermon,” as a mentor text.
Sometimes such a wide open prompt is more challenging than “write a (insert form) about (insert subject).” I played around with different ways into this challenge, but ultimately found it easier to write about one central object. Changing “sermon” to “hymn” also felt important to me. This draft still needs work (an ending, for example) but I think it’s getting there.
is the sudden shimmer
of a lone angel wing shell
found in wet sand at low tide.
Today’s hymn is the belly button scar
where the other half of this bivalve
was once connected,
cleaved by some unknowable force
and now lost.
Today’s hymn is a memory preserved
in this alabaster surface,
scored with ridges and ripples,
like a recording of the ebb and flow
of endless waves.
Draft © 2021, Catherine Flynn
Be sure to visit my fellow Swaggers to see how they approached this challenge:
Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche, who also happens to be hosting Poetry Friday today.