Written for: dVerse Poets Pub – Prosery: Memories with the trees (posted by Merrill)
“Prosery is our latest addition to the dVerse universe. This will be our fourth prosery prompt. If you’re not yet acquainted with the dVerse term, let me explain. It is a flash fiction (of any genre) that incorporates a line from a poem—prose from poetry! It must be no more than 144 words.
I decided to take a line from the new US poet laureate, Jo Harjo. I was going to write more about her, but I thought perhaps people would not want her background to influence their own work. So, you can read about her here.”
You can also find links to some of her other poems there, and there are many lines that would have worked for this prompt. I’ve selected this line:
“These memories were left here with the trees”
from the poem “How to Write a Poem in a Time of War.” You can read the entire poem here.
At twelve years, he wore
a red bandana. At eleven, she
wore a silver ankle chain with
hearts. He saved all summer
to buy it. After school, they’d walk
to a favorite tree, a sprawling
sycamore with puzzle pieces
of bark that fell indiscriminately.
Childhood sweethearts talked
about marriage, and number of
children they would have.
One Friday afternoon, backs
supported by tree, they heard
she asked. “Sounded more like
gun shot,” he replied. White-
faced, they glanced down the row
of trees. Saw people running,
shouting, confused. They gripped
each other’s hands, stood up.
From behind tree, a black-masked
man shot them before they could
So many died that day, land
became a cemetery. Under a
certain sycamore, lay a blood-
stained red bandana, and a
broken ankle chain. These
childhood treasures remained,
watched over by their tree.