NaPoWriMo Day 20: Wendy Hind – Recipe for a new poem

We’re two thirds of the way through Napowrimo! Today Wendy Hind from Tiny Poetry Project makes a welcome return with a prompt that’s a recipe for success.

Cooking up a new poem

Think about a memory related to cooking. It can be about your lack of ability to cook, or your skill in cooking. Maybe it’s about watching someone else cook.

Please take 10 minutes to free write about the first memory that came into your mind with the above prompt. After 10 minutes, pick one small element from what you wrote down and write a poem based on this small segment. More than anything, don’t try to make it perfect – have fun!

My Memory/Poem


The perfectly scripted letters
Are marked with smudges
left by busy manicured hands.
Cream the butter, lard, and sugar.
Do not over beat, the recipe warns.
Add the eggs one at time.
Sift the dry ingredients together,
combine and then chill.

The simple galley kitchen
with Formica counters,
and warm electric oven
hum with impatience.
Finally, the wooden rolling pin
begins spinning at mock-speed,
making a sort of clinking sound
each time its lifted off the dough.

Always wearing a house dress
and pantyhose, reminiscent
of when she came of age in the 20s.
Always wearing a colorful apron
covered with clouds of white dust
appearing like a finger painting.
Always moving with the ease
of performing this ritual, a 1000 times.

Her cloudy blue eyes
look down on me
and wink, while sneaking me
a bit of cookie dough.
Bzzz, the timer startles me.
I carefully set down the
wooden rolling pin with a clinck,
smile, and swallow-up the dough.

Wendy Hind

Please share your responses to today’s prompt either in the comments or via email. The best submissions will be featured in future podcasts.

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