“Between a Rock and a Hard Place”

We’ve all been there. :) I wrote two poems for this NaPoWriMo challenge and will post the second next week. Peace to your !

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In between
a rock and
a hard place

is a tiny space
just big enough
to squeeze through.

If you
hold your breath and
think thin thoughts,

with any luck
you’ll breeze through.

If not—
you’re stuck.

© Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 15 – Write a poem that reflects on the nature of being in the middle of something.


The Christophers have as their motto, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” During this dark time of the coronavirus pandemic, NaPoWriMo is a lovely candle to keep lit. Good poetry has power, and even not-so-good poetry (such as one might write given only a day to compose :) ) gives both writer and reader something else to focus on.

Credit for the title goes to my third daughter, whose artwork (see above) also appears in two other NaPoWriMo images I created for this year. She may not be the only one to have come up with quarantime, but she’s the only one I know about. Peace to all ♥s!

a poem for the pandemic

The elementary kids used to wait
On the edge of Heritage and Old Gate
In a patch of rocks the new guy planted.

The bus no longer stops at half past eight
(When again, we can only speculate)
There where the lilac bush once enchanted.

That first novel day off, I took my walk
And saw a boy and girl, friends from the block,
Folding paper on the drab metal case

(Some utility’s) sprouting from the rock.
The girl was a Lindbloom; the boy, a Mock;
The paper, white and all over the place.

He held a white sword—oh, my fourth-grade knight!
Only in dreams could it answer our plight.
But it was an admirable plaything.

They must have cleaned up (I urged, “Do what’s right”);
Next morning her airplane had taken flight.
Both lilacs and children missing this spring.

© Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo20 Day 2: Write a poem about a specific place, using concrete details. Thank you to Maureen Thorson at NaPoWriMo.net for the prompt.