A Friend, A Job, A Painting, A Lie

Auguste Renoir Odalisque 1870, oil on canvas at the National Gallery in Washington, D.c.
A Friend, A Job, A Painting, A Lie

just the other day
i ran into an old friend
her name? well i couldn’t say…
i remembered then
we were close once, as she walked away

night shift at Denny’s
i kept cups filled with coffee
serving strangers for pennies
and kept company
with other odd night owls like me

her dark eyes piercing my soul
provocatively posing
she draws me in close
ensnared by her charm, she swallows me whole

it’s just a white lie
you’re just trying to be nice
so look ‘em straight in the eye
don’t let them ask twice
bend the truth a bit, that’s my advice


Na/GloPoWriMo 2022 Day 21 Prompt: write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.

For today i decided to use the Horatiodet, a short form of the Horatian Ode that I created a few years ago. I wrote a stanza for each part. They don’t really mesh. Not sure if they were supposed to, but it’s on prompt and you get 4 for 1 today! 😊

The Horatiodet is a total of 5 lines, syllable count: 5-7-7-5-9 / rhyme scheme: ababb. In other words, it is a short Horatian Ode (only one stanza), a form based on the style of Horace, Quintus Horatius Flaccus (December 8, 65 BC – November 27, 8 BC), the leading Roman lyric poet.

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