For today’s prompt, take the phrase “This Is What (Blank) Looks Like,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Example titles might be: “This Is What Awesome Looks Like,” “This Is What a Poem Looks Like,” or “This Is What Love Looks Like.”
Untucked shirt, a chainmail design of small argyles connected by stains,
Coffee, Pepsi on sale three for five dollars, or watered down rum.
Leather shoes browner than dirt, useless in the heavy summer rains,
Dangerous in the icy winter with their slick bottoms and frayed laces.
Jeans no longer drag the rocks of broken pavement, worn
To snag the wayward roots and warped lumber,
Known obstacles in the overgrown path between crumbling, downtown ruins.
The baseball hat handed out by a roofing contractor at a trade show,
An arena with free coffee, big smiles, and warmth.
It fits, hides the matted mess of hair, hides some of the dirt.
A belt is not part of the package. They took it
At the drunk tank, and didn’t replace it.
Running a tongue between two teeth where a third and a fourth
Were lost to fists belong to different men and different discussions,
Produced the only taste of food on this day.
Hands in pockets rattle washers found when the landlord built a fence
And failed to guard at break, the fasteners nobody need steal at seventeen cents a piece.
Illusions for others, cunning trickery to emulate the sound
Of pockets full of money.
Proof of willpower to not spend every last penny
On cigarettes and booze.
Two butts in the road, next to the curb,
Picked up, brushed off, and pocketed
In the one holeless pouch.
A driver recognizes the shuffle and honks.
A hand waves back in automatic grasping.
The walker searches for freedom, liberation from labours,
An empty quiet on and empty street.