The common heart ~ NaPoWriMo day 24

Politics and suffering

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was a gem: “Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concreteyou can then rearrange and edit into a poem.

That works beautifully for me! See if you can guess the animal I chose (answer below):

The common heart

… would be unique

for its appearance alone.

But the most striking characteristic

of the common heart

is the wide array of techniques it uses

to avoid or thwart attackers.

The common heart can hide in plain sight

shape-shifting in a nanosecond

changing colours, even matching

the music of another pulse.

It curls up impossibly small

squeezing into small dark spaces

as if it knew how very fragile

a common heart is.

Secretive by nature

the common heart

is the most intelligent of hearts

blue of blood

writing with ink


even when broken.

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