Swept Away


crawling from bed
he walks down the hall
finding his way in the dark
blankie trailing behind
on the cement

the warm body next to her
wakes her
as the morning sun,
a prophet of fresh starts,
peeks in on them

she watches him sleep
taking mental notes
of everything
from his rusty red hair
to the scars on his cheek and chin

he would wake soon
to tell her again of the dreams
that torment his nights
and she will see to it that they are
swept tenderly away once more

P. Wanken

Written for The Sunday Whirl prompt, using the words pictured above.


  1. I loved this poem. It sounds like two homeless people. But to just come out and say that ruins the mysteriousness, intimacy, and power of the poem. Great job!


    1. Thanks, Gordon! Glad you liked it! I appreciate your feedback. I wanted to convey a bit of a “hard life” (cement floor, scars on the face, tormenting dreams), but hadn’t exactly pictured “homeless.” But that works, too. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚


  2. Paula, this is a beautiful and tender mother/child poem. I like ‘prophet of fresh starts.’ May each of us have one of these in our lives!


    1. Yes, Mary…I’ve been looking for the sun every morning…and every morning it keeps coming. Promise of a new day. A new start. Thanks for your feedback. ~Paula


  3. Paula, This piece evokes the love between mother and child. It feels sweet and tender to read. Excellent piece, you created something beautiful with this week’s wordle words.


    1. Thanks, Brenda. When I read your prompt and the comment about the wordle words being dark, I was determined to do otherwise! πŸ˜‰ (Perhaps being just a bit contrary?? LOL) But then I went through my usual paces of capturing the words onto my page the way I do (I’m sure we all have our “system” of becoming one with the wordle), the story unfolded behind my eyelids in a picture. It was just a matter of putting the words in the right order to describe that picture. Thanks, as always, for a fine list of words with which to whirl out a wordle! πŸ˜‰ ~Paula


  4. On August 7, 2011 at 4:24 am vivenne blake said:

    My comment wouldn’t work on yours for some reason, Paula- I typed, but the box remained blank! My comment would have been: Golly you were quick, and what a lovely scene you have created for us. I imagined a small boy, nappy at half mast, trailing his comfort blanket. I hope I haven’t totally misinterpreted your poem!!!!

    Oh, Viv…that cracks me up: “nappy at half mast.” Indeed, it probably is/could be! πŸ™‚ As I wrote, though, I had the image of a boy a bit older. One who knows what recurring night torments are…

    As for being “quick” — I was downloading music using a very slow connection last night…I wanted to stay up until it had finished. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, for my writing) I caught a second wind in the midst of it and was awake until past 2:30am. I rarely get to “wordling” before 5pm on Sundays, if that. So I was grateful to have an opportunity to post early. πŸ™‚

    And finally, regarding the “white box” for comments. I’ve had it happen before on others’ sites. It’s like the box/page didn’t load quite right. I usually refresh the page and all is well. But thanks for being persistent in leaving a comment for me over at The Sunday Whirl site.



  5. At first, because of the blankie, I thought of a child, but then the perspective is changed and it is as though the narrater, in that early morning light, gets a clear glimpse of the child inside the man, or young adult. I have lived with an individual who suffered from night terrors, thus the change in perspective was clear and understandable to me, as well as the emotional response you created. This is a strong piece Paula and a fantastic use of the wordle words.



    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I appreciate your feedback. As I mentioned in other replies, yes, I was thinking of a boy a bit older than a small child (though I love Viv’s image of a small child with a saggy diaper). Someone who’s lived some life already, and has scars to prove it…and night torments (terrors) along with ’em. Thanks again… ~Paula


  6. Wow!! that was simple cute and beautiful!! What every mom goes through!! I did imagine a naughty tyke as these lines suggest ~
    “.. the scars on his cheek and chin”
    and a loving caring mother who adores him as the end speaks!!


  7. Paula, I’m going to make a recommendation that may improve all your future poems. Write them late at night when you’re tired. I don’t know if this is your best, but it’s my favorite. Such a touching, tender write.


    1. uhh….no. I don’t think 2 a.m. writing sessions are good for 8 a.m. office days! πŸ˜‰

      But…..thank you. As I’ve mentioned in another reply, this came in a picture to me. A scene that unfolded behind my eyelids. I just needed to figure out which words went where. As always, thank you for your support.



  8. It’s a beautiful piece, Paula. Takes me back to childhood, when Dad would come get me in the middle of the night and tuck me in between Mom and him after I’d had a bad dream. It only happened a couple of times, but I remember it to this day, some 40 years later.


    1. Thank you, Traci, for your comments. Yes, this kind of moment between parent and child is the kind that sticks in your mind–and heart–for a lifetime.


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