NaPoMo 2013 – Words in My City / Reconciling

After feeling less than inspired to start NaPoMo’s Poem a Day Challenge, I saw a great post about creating poems by taking pictures of words in the world around us. (See: National Poetry Month Phone Poets Project)

Not quite up for that, I was struck by the idea of pulling words I see in my city and using them as writing prompts for poems. So here’s my first offering, from a sign at a church near my office.



The bowling ball has reconciled with the lane
and the pins but is not reconciled to
the sweating unwashed fingers

The pins will never reconcile with
the ball nor the bowler nor the
pinsetter. The lane knows it would be nothing
without the gutters and the gutters and the lane
are not reconciled to the invention of
the bumpers.

The balls and the pins and the lanes are reconciled
to or with the bowlers, depending.

The bowlers are in general reconciled to
the whim of the lanes and pins
but have not been reconciled with
each other since The Incident
when Mr. Last Year’s Champion grabbed
the ass of Mrs. Trying To Be This Year’s Champion, causing
her ball to be reconciled to the gutter.

After six months of silence between the men’s
and women’s league, silence that travels from
Waverly Bowl to home and back again, there is
some talk of making
peace but none yet
of a formal reconciliation.

But even this in its way will come. Like any
relationship that yearns to last longer
than anger, these combatants
will learn to make
peace with
reconciling with and without reconciling
to and next season the men’s
and women’s leagues will bowl on
different nights and in five years this
will be tradition and not evidence of how
life needs neither forgiveness nor
reconciliation and yet
goes on and goes on forgetting how good
either would feel.


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