June and I have attended many poetry workshops together over the years. By the way, June isn’t her real name. I don’t want to embarrass her with the story I’m about to tell.
One year, we went to a workshop where the presenter was Dawn Senior-Trask. I don’t recall what year that was or where the workshop was held. I don’t remember too much about Dawn-Senior Trask except that she had worked with children. Naturally, she took in stride what transpired during the workshop.
In the morning, June and I were sitting side by side with other workshop participants. We’d just ben given a prompt, and we were writing away, minding our own business. Suddenly, June let loose a loud belch, and it was all I could do to keep from laughing. To her credit, she was usually not in the habit of large, aural expulsions of wind. When she realized what she’d done, she cried out in mortification. That made it even funnier. Fortunately, nobody else laughed, or I would have lost it.
That afternoon, Dawn Senior-Trask prompted us to write about something out of the ordinary. Below is what I wrote that day with a few minor revisions. Telling the story of poor June’s so-called fall from grace, it appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. You can click below to hear me read it. This weekend, June and I will attend another poetry workshop, and maybe, I’ll write another memorable poem.
by Abbie Johnson Taylor
The room is silent
but for the scratch of pencil against paper,
murmur of voices,
flip, rip of pages.
Unexpected, it cuts through the silence,
breaks my concentration.
I fight to diffuse a bomb of mirth
that threatens to explode.
The effort brings tears to my eyes.
After a moment, I continue writing,
but my heart’s not in it anymore.
By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.
Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books
When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.
Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.