Today’s prompt from National Poetry Writing Month was challenging: write a “golden shovel” poem, which is an original poem, the last lines of which end with individual words of an existing poem, so that if you read only the last words of each line of the new poem, in order, you also read the previously written poem.

As I am using NaPoWriMo in part to explore ways to write about my great aunt’s diaries, I used her entries from April of 1934 as the basis of the new poem. The lines’ final words are drawn from Margaret Atwood’s biting “You Fit Into Me.”

April 5, 1934

Another dust storm dark and thick. You
couldn’t see the sun, no weather fit
for even necessary work, continued into
evening after supper. Sophie helped me

dye my faded brown-red dress like
new to black, but it was not a
pretty black so replaced bent hook
at collar, hemmed, and made into

an everyday dress, also used an
old overall for nail apron and extra eye
for clasp. After I lay down for a
nap, Ben brought us sixteen club fish

he caught with just a pole and hook
so fried them up for supper. Will put an
egg in bottle for magic work to cut open
the fistula festering near Mike’s eye.

April 5, 1934

Nail Apron

Club Fish

Magic Work