National Poetry Month invites anyone to write a poem a day, post it somewhere and engage in the creative joy.

Here is today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo:

And now, our (completely optional) prompt for the day! This might seem like a bit of a downer, but I challenge you to write a valediction. This is a poem of farewell. Perhaps the most famous one is John Donne’s A Valediction Forbidding Mourning, which turns the act of saying good-bye into a very tender love poem. But your poem could say “good-bye” (and maybe good riddance!) to anything or anyone. A good-bye to winter might be in order, for example. Or good-bye to the week-old easter eggs in your refrigerator. Light or serious, long or short, it’s up to you!

old books


   After a poem by John Donne


The family Rule Book sits, scarred and tattered,

center stage on the polished mahogany buffet,

where bone china dishes of great aunts

hide on faded green felt separators,


where sterling silver knives and forks

wait for the next command performance.

The Family Rule Book

guides generations.


On page 91, just below the sherry stain,

is the beginning of the rules on dying.

First, do not.  Do not do it in public.

Do not let others know you will do it.


Deny all outer signs of decay.

Do not talk of others doing it.

Never mention a last will and testament.

Do not consider cremation, crypt or tomb.


When others do it, do not cry.

Mind your manners.

Carry a silk hankie, wear black.

Feign remorse.


Wear false eyelashes to funerals.

Vanity will forestall tears.