Take These Words

 NaPoWriMo Day #6

I know, it's day 18, but my Mondays through Saturdays are A to Z-ing.  I'm saving up some prompts from NaPoWriMo to use on Sundays.

Linking to Poets and Storytellers United Writers' Pantry #66.  

The prompt for day 6 was:

"Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely."

I chose a line from After Hamelin, by Bill Richardson.  After Hamelin  is considered a YA novel, but I re-read it every few years.  It's the story of what happened after the Piper stole the children of Hamelin away.   Just suppose a child woke deaf and couldn't hear the Piper's flute.  Was it chance, or fate?  That child, Penelope, in her old age, writes down her tale, and leaves the words to another.

"Whoever reads this, whoever you are, take these words."


Take these words.

Eat them,

swallow them whole.

Let them fill the empty places in your soul.

Take these words.

Sense all they meant to me.

Words of healing.

Words of sorrow.

Words of regret,

and longing.

Love and loss

in equal shares.

Take these words.

I’ve no use for them

where I am going.

The words will be my legacy,

my gift to you.

Take these words.

Use them well,

and keep them safe.

Pass them on when you too go,

for my words are powerful

and lasting.

 ©2021 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved


  1. Replies
    1. They can be. In the case of Penelope's words, they were a heavy responsibility and perhaps even a curse.

  2. Your words resonate .... well done.

  3. Words said ... and NOT said... can be transformative and everlasting...

    1. So true. Others may remember what we say, but we remember what we don't say, and that may make a big impact in our lives.

  4. Now I'll have to go and find that book! (I enjoy YA, and also retellings of tales.) Meanwhile, I like your own words very much, and what they say about words in general – particularly, of course, poetic words.

    1. Oh, do! I expect you'll enjoy it. It's magical and tragic, with harpies and dragons, and coming of age... My first reading was for a mother/daughter book club in our home school. The girls were all middle schoolers, then high schoolers. I'm pleased to say my daughter and I picked the book. Oh, some the things the other ones chose! Let me know if you read it and what you thought. :)

  5. We have to be very careful with words even though they might be quite descriptive but they can hurt as well. Often it is wise to say nothing.

    1. Yes, wise. But, so hard! Biting our tongue is difficult! So is not saying anything later.

  6. Words are indeed lasting and never fading emotional triggers.

    1. They certainly are! I can still hear some said in innocence from when I was a child.


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