Mama would brush her daughter’s tendrils
as if she could fingerpaint the past away,
and her toddler would chocolate-smile and lick the brownie batter
while Mama’s haunted eyes never completely refocused.


This is inspired by the 4-line challenge hosted by The Arcanum Cafe (link below). In this exercise, poets must write only FOUR lines based upon a one-word prompt. In this case, the prompt is “cobwebs.”


Before leaving for work
I glance back at the bed–
Not too subtle, but you are asleep,
Dreaming of what, I can only imagine.

Under the covers, your form a smooth topography–
So tempting to rejoin you

There. Warm sheets, my lips pressed
On your shoulder like a just-licked postage stamp,
Greedy for more of your touch,
Eager to hear one of your sleepy sighs.
Tousled black hair, a shadowy corona encircling your
Head—I can feel its seductive softness
Even now, poised on the morning’s edge–I smile, and


He fed me pomegranate seeds
one by one; I felt the rubies burst
on my tongue–now I’m tethered here,
living a half-life, shrouded in darkness.


Poor Persephone, tricked into living with Hades for half of every year. I wrote this small poem in response to the Exercises and Challenges bulletin board posted on

There, writers post a four-line poem that is inspired by one word left in a previous bulletin board post. I used the word “Underworld.”