Weekly Writing Prompt: Alive!

Image credit: Allie Brosch, Hyperbole and a Half
Image credit: Allie Brosch, Hyperbole and a Half

On this date five years ago, I was riding my Linhai scooter down a major Austin street, and was hit head-on by someone making an illegal left turn. I had a major concussion, needed stitches in my lip, and had to have my front two teeth replaced. Had I not been wearing a helmet, I would be dead. I always commemorate March 15th as a turning point in my life, and take this day to be grateful that I am still here writing poetry. 

Today, write about a near-death experience. Even if you haven’t had one, make one up. Stretch the truth, warp the details. Maybe a paper cut developed gangrene. The subject doesn’t have to be you, either. It could be a loved one or a fictional character.

After you write your experience, go further, writing about the sense of gratitude that you or your character has. Even if you’ve had to struggle since then, what are you happy about? What insight has this experience yielded for you or your subject.

Bonus challenge: write this as a Petrarchan sonnet, with the octave being the near-death experience and the sestet the place where you cultivate gratitude.

(PS – There’s one day left to register for Poetry March Madness! In celebration of being alive, anyone who signs up today will get in for 50% off. It’s just $10 if you register today!)

2 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Prompt: Alive!

  1. I am so upset that I listened to u and didn’t fly immediately to your bedside. I’m glad u celebrate/commemorate this every year but it is difficult to think about the alternative

    Sent from my iPad


  2. I suppose I was about 12. Old enough to have a paper route. With only a few dozen houses to go, I shot my bike across Tallmadge Road. Glancing to the left I could see the terror in the driver’s eyes when he realized that he did not have time to stop. I was thrown high into the air and off the road to the driver’s right. I was fortunate that I was not injured when the car made contact with my bike. I was not so fortunate when I made contact with the berm of dirt and gravel. As I lay there the pain rose up my spine and held me around the throat so tightly that I could not speak or even cry out. Still, I was spared; although my bicycle was not. The x-rays confirmed that I had been saved from the potential disaster of my own foolishness. But I soon learned that one can in fact have a backside so sore that he literally cannot sit down for two days. At the hospital, my frantic mother asked me how I could have not seen the approaching car. Without much thought I shrugged and surmised that the silver car on the grey pavement was not obvious to me. Bless her heart, from that day on my mother insisted that she only wanted to own cars that were fire engine red. Going on fifty years since that day, and it’s been a good life. Two wonderful daughters for whom I give thanks every day. I would have had no one to blame had the outcome been tragic; but I have heartfelt gratitude to have escaped the consequences of my youthful lack of good judgment. D

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