Saturday, May 1, 2010

Message in a Bottle

Now that Poetic Asides' April Poem-A-Day challenge is over, my friend Linda Goin (google her; she's great) suggested other sites for "prompts," which are themes to which a group of poets, etc. write. Then we compare notes! This, from a prompt on Writer's Island, of "Message in a Bottle," titled, aptly...


Scrawled on a torn brown paper bag:

To Whoever Finds This,

Whatever your poison, it’s not worth it
Mine fit neatly in this bag and was
smuggled, stashed into the back of the pantry
Kept me company while the kids were at school
and later, while hubby was out nightcapping with the boys

Repeating the methods of my father’s mistakes
to avoid inhabiting my mother’s madness
I thought if I sought less than electroshock
I’d be home free, free at last, thank God almighty

The kids tried to help with An Intervention
the tension was palpable; I wasn’t pliable enough
to get with the AA stuff, or therapy
And today the doctor said my liver’s failing
So I’m off to the beach to deliver this message myself

I’m taking it as far out as I can swim
and then letting it go
and letting go
Just letting you know it was my choice to start
It’s your choice to stop, or not

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


  1. hey there, Amy

  2. Wow, this is something Love the last stanza.

  3. Some times that's the only way to get the message.

  4. One of the big struggles in life A struggle with our self to rise above our problems very good

  5. Very powerful words. Much emotion in this.

  6. Ah-ha! Letting go, are you? Again? LOL -- great poem, Amy! I don't believe I've ever seen the word, "intervention" in a poem, but there you go...

  7. What a unique and thoughtful response to the prompt. Well written, with a very important message.

  8. That's some story, beautifully written. Looking forward to reading more on Writer's Island.

  9. This was deep and powerful. Excellently done.

  10. thaz a great message... a loss is a loss is a loss is a loss.....

  11. Starting - easy; stopping - harder.
    Both our choices to make.
    Consequences - out of our hands.

  12. Interesting take on the message in a bottle trope. Stereotypically either a cry for help from the literally lost and remote, or a fun imaginative imitation of such literary representation. Here you've given the message in a bottle the character of suicide note. Strong stuff...

  13. Oh, Amy. This is a brilliant piece. Speaks of tumbled past, and such wisdom for the now. Love it.

  14. Wow--very much liked this strong piece. Wise, wise words!