We persist like sentinel chimneys
teetering alone when the house has burned.
Hazmat walkers sift pumice and ashes on the fringe,
sort remnants, ask questions, circumnavigate the wounds.
We sip coffee bitters all night, startle easily, but do
the next task, massage our bruises in silence.
A jug of rain, a pail of tears cannot wash this.
Through coming years, we bloom
like mower-schooled violets in the lawn
heads tucked, eyes open.
-- Mar Walker
NOTE: I only used nine words from prompt rather than 12. -- down to eight now that I changed the title (I also misspelled Epilogue originally. Coffee bitters was the flavor, silence was the sound. the lawn violets image was was from a previous poem I tried to write that didn't work out... I took the photo six or seven years ago in New Milford, CT. I have changed the title three times. who knows what it will end up....
"Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to: Use at least twelve words from this list: flap, winter, torch, pail, jug, strum, lever, massage, octopus, marionette, stow, pumice, rug, jam, limp, campfire, startle, wattle, bruise, chimney, tome, talon, fringe, walker; Include something that tastes terrible; Include some part (from a few words to several lines) of a previous poem that didn’t quite pan out; and Include a sound that makes you happy."