One Single Impression: The Stranger

This is my first impression for the One Single Impression poetry prompt. This week poets are blogging their impressions of: The Stranger. I've used a narrative poetry form I like to play with. Three parts, 69 words each, not counting the titles.

Flickr Photo Download: Good morning Mr. Toad

The Stranger

1. Wanted: One Toad

I know, right where I lost him,
the exact moment he slipped from my fingers,
landed on his head, and shattered our lives.

He didn’t want the hospital.
I should have listened.
They wheeled him away on a stretcher
and gave a stranger back.

I told the doctor I had someone else's pet.
She pointed at the wristband,
as if that plastic label could make him who he isn’t.

2. Not Wanted: One Puppy

My toad had a whiskey-spiked smile
that always got him his way.

He drove like a demon,
sneaking a hand up under my skirt,
as the cornfields sped by.

The stranger huddles in the passenger seat,
shivering like a puppy from the pound,
his eyes squeezed shut,
hands clasped white-knuckle tight,
while I drive slow.

In case you’re wondering: kissing a puppy won’t turn him back to a toad.

3. Living with a Stranger

He’s house trained, now.
He picks up his underwear,
puts the seat down,
eats with a spoon.

His smile is like a tail wag;
he offers it when he doesn’t know what I want.

I guess he will grow on me.
I will somehow learn to love
this obedient child.

But, what I really want
is my old green toad of a husband back.
This wasn’t a fair trade.

View other poets and their impressions here.


  1. This was sharp and poignant...one moment I would see the humor, and in the next very moment I would see the tragedy. What an interesting tug on my emotions! Excellent read.

  2. I felt the pain and the humor and the love as these emotions rolled over me in waves with this. Thanks for joining us.

  3. Nara, these are soooooo nice. I am glad you joined in, please stay on. And thanks for your visit, I wrote my poem to cover a human mother-daughter situation but to lighten it up somewhat I added the 'twist' towards the end. So, no, I couldn't put the pictures at the top of the posting.

    At times I lived the puppy part, of course he would paw up your skirt when sitting beside you in the car. Or sit on your lap. Our Adi did that.

    And I felt sorry for you not having your old-self-husband back. :-)

  4. Narrative poetry at its best!! So glad you've joined..
    The three stages were a great read.. quite agree with "Fledgling Poet".. juxtaposed with events that were humorous and then tragic..
    Seemingly a rare situation, but strangely, something with which we can relate to...

  5. A see-saw of emotion there. Nicely done.

  6. wow--I love your style! so very clever, very well-written!

    I'm glad to 'meet' you--and I look forward to reading more! ;)

  7. glad to see u at OSI, and i liked this.

    though the three are too good to be separated into better and bests, i personally liked the last one best! :)

    looking to reading more from u...

  8. @OSI poets I've really enjoyed getting around to see everyone's work. I feel like I have so much to learn from all of you. Thank you for the warm welcome.

    @Kelly Big hug.

  9. Poignant - tears with a dash of humor, a paradox of poetic...beautifully done!

  10. This was a heartbreaking ride.
    the loss of something treasured, now kept.
    Kept is the larger tragedy. Welcome to OSI! I look forward to reading more of your poetry.

  11. What a pure delight to read this. So sad yet such humor.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.