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Meg McCluskey May 2011
Prompt: A place I would never want to go back to

My childhood was spent on these cracked streets,
worn and broken from the life they have seen. The air around them, stale and heavy, makes a body grow weak and tired, as though age can seep in through the creases of the skin from the atmosphere and take away its youth.

In spite of myself I look once more for a second chance, an excuse to stay. Instead I find  memories. Memories hidden around every corner, stuck between the cracks of a building, twisted among branches of a tree; melted deep into the sidewalk like a forgotten candy bar.

Once again I am eight years old, swinging through my backyard jungle; discovering a buried treasure beneath the apple tree; walking the plank of the patio.
Imagination created a shelter when the world around me had collapsed. Imagination became my place to escape; my safe haven.

Then it happens again. The heart inside my chest beats at an incredible speed, my palms sweat with fear; my mind trapped in a moment.
I can no longer separate myself from these ghostly memories,
they have become a part of my soul.
This place is suffocating.

There is no other choice. Staying behind would only seal my fate.
This town will poison me as it has so many others, it will mold me into its history. I will become another pebble on the road, a crack in the sidewalk, the strong breeze in the air.

So this is it, my bittersweet goodbye.
© 2011 Meg McCluskey
May 16, 2011
Meg McCluskey May 2011
Prompt: Narrating a famous historical figure stuck in a traffic jam.*

Here I am, All Alone* in my car.
I’m stuck between a Thunderbird and a red light.
As Time Goes By, I get to thinking about that Autumn in New York,
when we were walking through the rain At Sundown.
I Didn’t Know What Time it Was, but
I begin to think about you, The Girl Next Door,
you know I’d Know You Anywhere.
And then You Kissed Me, I remember thinking,
For Once in My Life, I’ve Got the World on a String!
But Don’t Worry About Me, I Don’t Like Goodbyes,
this is The End of a Love Affair.
But next time you see me, Gimme A Little Kiss
and Try a Little Tenderness,
for you are The Gal That Got Away.
© 2011 Meg McCluskey
May 15, 2011
Meg McCluskey May 2011
Prompt: Persona narrates what witnesses to a tragic accident do after the accident is over.**

Two days ago, Melody Nixon drowned after her car spun off the I90 Bridge and plunged into the water, trapping her inside her car like a prison.

She was hit by a drunken college student, who wrongly
assumed he was well enough to drive without any problem.

On that night, Melody’s death was witnessed by two others. The first was Susan Baker, a successful business woman who spent more time in her office making plans and making deals to remember she was a mother.

The second witness was Walter Price, a malignant *** who lived under the I90 Bridge during the summer. He had just felt the smooth familiar burn of his whiskey as it slid down his throat when he saw the two cars collide.

After the accident, Mrs. Baker took a week off work and flew her family to Disney World, her sudden epiphany warning her to spend more time with her children.

Walter Price took one last sip of his whiskey and smashed the bottle against the side of the bridge swearing it as his last drink; a hope for a different life.

Melody’s father; however, could not seem to shake away the anger and the hurt
from losing his daughter in such a tragic way. This was why the night of the funeral, he picked up a bottle of Captain Morgan and took his first swig of alcohol, starting his inevitable downfall, a routine pattern of crawling inside the bottle when reality became too much to bear.
© 2011 Meg McCluskey
May 15, 2011
Meg McCluskey May 2011
Prompt:  Persona superficially apologizes to his or her in-laws.**

I’m sorry I’m not the same as you,
dressed to my best in Coco Channel, Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani.
I didn’t come from money, my baths were never in a porcelain tub,
my toilet was not made of gold.

I thought that my love for your son would be enough
to put my economic status in the past.
Yet, there is no disguising the thick line that is drawn between us,
the way the air congeals when we’re all in the same room.
I’m sorry that your eyes have been programmed to see me
for where I come from,
instead of who I have become.

It doesn’t matter to you that I have found a job worthwhile,
or that your son is not the sole provider.
You hate me anyway.
So this is my apology,
from the bottom of my heart.

Maybe someday those clouds will clear from your eyes
and you will notice that I am better for your son
than any of those stuck up *******
you call equals.
© 2011 Meg McCluskey
May 15, 2011
Meg McCluskey May 2011
Prompt: Describe how the persona misses someone.**

I can’t seem to get you out of my head…
The way you used to be, the way we used to be.
We were once friends, sisters, and now
look at us, look at what time has done to us.

I don't even know who you are anymore.

Who we once were and who we are now,
is not who we used to be—together.

Has my heart grown cold in your absence?
Or has your sudden absence made my heart grow cold?

I hate to place the blame on you.
Yet, it seems, all this started the day you refused
to return my calls. My heart began to freeze
when I begged for you to talk but got no reply.
Mostly, my heart began to break,
never understanding why you abruptly left.

Even now, that we are attempting
to patch up this mess of ours, I know in my heart
we will never be the same two people we once were

Now, together, we are different.
It seems our best relationship now is one that is separate.

I don’t like change because it hurts, it is too painful.
Especially when people change, when you look into their eyes and see
a ghost of whom they used to be. When you look into your heart and wonder
if maybe it is you who has changed.
© 2011 Meg McCluskey
May 15, 2011

For this one, I reused one that I already had but made it shorter. Maybe it works better than the original?
Meg McCluskey May 2011
Prompt: Persona describes the place he or she fell out of love with another.**

You wouldn’t stop chewing with your mouth open.
All I could focus on were the bits of damp burger and bun,
rolling around in your mouth.

It reminded me of the way meat looked at a butcher’s shop
after it had been run through a grinder, so deformed from
its original shape, you’d never know what it used to be.

You also wouldn’t stop talking with food in your mouth.
Sometimes I was afraid that if you said a ‘p’ word too forcefully,
the soggy remains of your food would find their way to my face.

But perhaps the thing that annoyed me most,
was the way you made a gulping sound with every sip you took,
slurping away at your refreshment like a child.

It was at that very moment, between our meal of Whoppers and fries,
that I couldn’t take it anymore. Disgusted I shot up, announcing we were through.

I walked away so I wouldn’t have to let you have the chance to defend yourself.
© 2011 Meg McCluskey
May 15, 2011
Meg McCluskey May 2011
Prompt: A Desperate Prayer**

The first thing notice is the stale smell of sweat,
like a shirt, stained with its sour scent after
being left unwashed for weeks.
The ground is cold as ice.
When I open my eyes, all I see is black.
I’m blind.
My eyes adjust to realize I’m blindfolded.
Aware I am not in a place I know,
I try to move only to find that my arms and legs have been bound tight together.
Where am I?
How did I get here?
How do I get out?
Panic runs with my blood,
my heart beats so hard my head aches.
My hands sweat and my body turns as cold as the cement.
I try to remember the last think that happened…nothing comes.
Fear and panic torture my mind,
making it impossible to find a clue to where I am.
Then through the panic a memory surfaces and I listen.
I am five years old, sitting on a church pew next to my mother.
We are praying.
Though life has led me not to believe in God,
a sudden urge consumes me and I pray…my last hope.
God, please help me get out of here.
I don’t know where I am or how I got here,
I just want to go home.
Please God, I beg, help me.
I pray for salvation in His kingdom.
I pray for forgiveness from my trivial sins.
I pray because it’s my last hope.
© 2011 Meg McCluskey
May 15, 2011
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