What to do when you can’t think what to write about…

Post a poem 🙂

Photo by Tairon Fernandez on

This one was written to the prompt Slip for the ‘Twelve Poems in Twelve Months challenge at

One of my rare attempts at blank verse.

~ ~ ~


I slip in with the neighbours.
Bill spots me there and frowns
Today’s his birthday, Father-in-Law,
‘Call me Dad’.
(He doesn’t call me ‘Son’.)
I’ve never been good enough for Bill’s best girl.
Although I try, the fates conspire:
the broken vase, burned barbecues, those Christmas crises…

I slip into the kitchen,
not to touch the food, of course.
I’ve special candles for the cake,
safe fizzing flames, like sparklers.
Slip back into the crowd and wait…

Lights out. The kitchen door’s ajar
and here it comes, the sparkling cake.
‘Ooohs’ and ‘Ahhhs’ breathed all around.
Bill lifts his brandy in salute, and I step closer,
by his elbow,
ready to take credit.

A bang! Flash, crash! 
(Those weren't mentioned on the box!)
My hand jerks, startled,
To nudge Bill’s elbow.
Brandy’s dripping.
Cake flares, streamers blaze.
Flames spill
down the tablecloth,
up the curtains.
Children scream.
Smoke billows…

It's time to slip away.

# #

old dog walking away


What unexpected consequences have you disowned in the murky past?

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2 thoughts on “Slip-up

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