Take a trip to Three Word Wednesday, where this week’s challenge was to create a poem using the words Dare, Practical, and Essence. Click on the links of other poets and see the variety that emerges!

This is not a true story, by the way, except for the term “dust rhinos,” coined by my beloved Lex before we were married – at which point, I handed him a broom and said, “Go for it!” Amy


She considered herself a practical person.
A place for everything; order ruled her world.
The little cup holding writing utensils was called,
“The Pencil Department,” setting a clear directive:
No scissors were allowed in that receptacle.

The essence of her need for these boundaries
came from (where else?) her childhood.
Mom was a gypsy tethered to a suburban home,
escaping for occasional adventures and
dragging daughter along for the ride.

Mom was not the housekeeper type;
her idea of ironing was catching Dad’s shirts
just as they came out of the dryer,
then folding faux creases in the collar and sleeves.
She only cooked frozen or canned foods.

The house was a mess, save the daughter’s room,
which sported a bedspread ready for
a drill sergeant’s quarter-toss and
neatly folded clothes, specifically spaced hangers.
All while Mom watched the soaps and drank.

Once on her own, the girl dared to let it slip a bit.
Her apartment was allowed to drift into disorder
until the day a dust rhino danced by her feet.
‘Twas then that her former, finicky self kicked into gear…
but every potential partner was repelled by her Pledge.

(c) 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil