The Busy Woman

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Prosery:  “Surprised or Not”  (posted by Merrill)
“For the dVerse Prosery prompt, we write prose that includes a line from a poem. This line is given in the prompt—you do not choose it. So, you are being challenged to write a piece of flash fiction with a beginning, middle, and end. But you are to do it succinctly—after all, we are poets. Your Prosery piece must not exceed 144 words.

For today’s prompt, you must use the following line:”

“I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended.”

“You are allowed to change the punctuation in the given line. This line comes from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, “I wanted to be surprised.” You can read the full poem here.”

Independent, mature in years, if not in thought, Iris
enjoyed entertaining her circle of friends, a blend
of diverse people she could converse or spend
an evening with. Busy though she was,
buzzing here to a museum, there to a show,
she had let go of dating, deciding she was beyond
that era.

One night in bed, pillows plumped, blue and white
quilt covering herself and two tiger-striped cats,
she pulled from a dusty shelf, her brown, scratched
and dented journal. Iris had blocked her mind from
all the times she was in love. She read over
her own words of sadness and hopelessness,
wondering why she was surprised every time
love started or ended. What if love happened
along again one day?

Prosery: Surprised or Not

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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10 Responses to The Busy Woman

  1. Dale says:

    I like the reflectiveness of this one. And wish she hasn’t completely given up…


  2. hank77 says:


    She read over her own words
    of sadness and hopelessness,
    wondering why….

    Love is educational but still emotions cannot be restrained despite having gone through the same sequence of disappointments. This is the common experience of many before the right person comes along!



  3. merrildsmith says:

    Oh–I hope she does. And maybe now, she’s ready.


  4. I think about that song… “Love Hurts”…sometimes you need to relive the pains to see what you have missed.


  5. lillian says:

    Your details here, put me right in the scene with Iris! We do bare our souls in our journals, don’t we?


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