On this date five years ago, I was riding my Linhai scooter down a major Austin street, and was hit head-on by someone making an illegal left turn. I had a major concussion, needed stitches in my lip, and had to have my front two teeth replaced. Had I not been wearing a helmet, I would be dead. I always commemorate March 15th as a turning point in my life, and take this day to be grateful that I am still here writing poetry.
Today, write about a near-death experience. Even if you haven’t had one, make one up. Stretch the truth, warp the details. Maybe a paper cut developed gangrene. The subject doesn’t have to be you, either. It could be a loved one or a fictional character.
After you write your experience, go further, writing about the sense of gratitude that you or your character has. Even if you’ve had to struggle since then, what are you happy about? What insight has this experience yielded for you or your subject.
Bonus challenge: write this as a Petrarchan sonnet, with the octave being the near-death experience and the sestet the place where you cultivate gratitude.
(PS – There’s one day left to register for Poetry March Madness! In celebration of being alive, anyone who signs up today will get in for 50% off. It’s just $10 if you register today!)