On Writing

Poem 75 – Etymology of Dead Line

Etymology of Dead Line

curiosity about the etymology
of the word deadline leads me
to a black & white photo
dated August 1864 of the
Burial Detail at Andersonville
Confederate Prison for Soldiers

‘dead line’ the space between
life & death the confluence
of the River Breath & the River
No Breath – a rough passage

around the prison this line so
frightfully dug – dirt rising in
waiting graves piles no man
should pass lest he want to
meet his Maker

a choice perhaps considerable
when life is confined & freedom
inside the body only

I am committed now to releasing
this word from the prison of
my vernacular for it holds a
history too gruesome for its
slippery turn to mean a time
to deliver a poem or two

my point was to tell you I missed
a deadline – to joke about the
sound of it whooshing by but
that sound is a bullet tearing
past my ear I’m lucky to
survive to be able to submit
a poem or two by some other
date & time – to get in
to hand over to fulfill

to live up to said line

The Set List

Yesterday I spent the day finalizing my ‘set list’ for my virtual book launch. It was an emotional journey…reaching back into the deeps of my Nonna’s life, legacy…and the loss of her. And, my body is feeling it too, manifesting the nerves and the sadness as an unhappy colitis gut. I’m taking it slow today. Taking my medicine…breathing deeply. Oh, honouring the words…their meanings…their extensions into our lives can be…well, today, a task to take slowly.

If you’re yearning for a writing community to join on-line, please consider Firefly Creative Writing. Their spring offerings are just what the writing doctor ordered! Click here for the amazing details. Costs vary, but many offerings are free or donation-based. The Firefly family is super generous and soul-sharing. You’ll feel that gush of joy sharing writing with them!

Thank you to all those who’ve shared, ‘liked’ and commented on the book trailer! Jett is thrilled with all the amazing feedback! #feelingbiglove

One thought on “Poem 75 – Etymology of Dead Line

  1. HI Vanessa.

    Andersonville Prison was notorious as being “ a death sentence”- hunger, brutality, cruel fate of prisoners of that awful war.

    This is a wonderful poem, powerful! – so glad you wrote about this!



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