musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Poetry Writing Challenge – Day 2

 Welcome to Day 2 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!

  • I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
  • AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
  • Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
  • I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.

OR, you can purchase your own copy of (After) Confession for the new low price of $9.00 USD, shipping and handling included! Click here to read sample poems and purchase a copy.

Congratulations, Karen CL Anderson, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! (I do a raffle from those who commented on yesterday’s post.) Karen, please email me your address so I can send your prize:

Now onto today’s poem. Don’t forget to comment, and check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!

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The prompt for today from NaPoWriMo: write about an experience from 3 different voices/tenses– first, second and third person.

And funny, didn’t realize til now that yesterday it was wintery-spring, today is summer!

Summer Afternoon


At 11
I was the leader
on my green Schwinn,
a line of sisters and neighbor
kids cranking their
pedals behind.
Our moms had kicked
us out, “go swim!” so
we grudgingly rode
that well-worn mile, hot
sidewalks to the city pool,
where chlorine waters
welcomed our splashes.
The high dive dared us and
we dared back, our screams
echoing off tiled walls.
And floating, floating, we
washed our summer
boredom away

You loved:
that first leap into water,
that shock of cold hitting hot–
your skin from biking and 90 degrees.
Holding your breath and sinking
12 feet with a friend, dancing
on the deep-end’s floor.
Swimming with eyes open
to the muffled, soft blue world below.
Laying outside, towel damp on the patio,
getting tan and hot, until
you are ready: at the edge,
leaping into the
playful swarm,
cool again.

She was carefree and not–
the eldest, the leader, in-charge,
making sure kids crossed busy streets,
bikes were locked, everyone walked in together.
Once in the pool, she let go–
a mermaid diving, splashing, floating,
water freeing her
in so many ways.
Lifeguards and their constant whistling
would be responsible now. Until…
hours passed, limbs tired,
her human duties called:
wrangling kids out of the pool,
leading the pack home.
wet hair drying crisp in the sun,
legs heavy
pedaling for home.

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April is National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

This month’s posts are part of the  NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.

I’m so looking forward to your comments–  it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.

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Photos by Toia Montes de Oca and Jesper Stechmann, courtesy of


  1. Serena Mira Asta 502

    Ooo! Love feeling like it’s the middle of summer today – thank you for that. 🙂 Some lovely lines, too. (I especially liked dancing in the deep end, and the sense images — hot skin, towel damp, heavy legs…

    Another beaut.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Yay, so glad you like it! I need some summer reminders myself today. And I think it’s easy to remember the sense-experiences from being a kid, a time when I experienced things more in my body than in my head.

  2. Colleen

    Love it. Captures summer as I remember 50 + years ago!

    • Theresa Alberti

      You and me both, Colleen… we sure knew those summers of the ’70s! 🙂

  3. Barbara Moffett

    This one is sensory and evokes the feel, the story of kid-summer, but more made me think of your leadership and the remembered joy of a child having someone to follow and trust and challenge me while keeping me just safe enough. your amazing social skills-inclusive, encouraging, focusing. And, of course, now, your courageous model in writing and publishing. I write, a lot, but publishing remains quite a challenge for me.
    So much more to say…

    • Theresa Alberti

      Aw, I appreciate that, Barb… and I hope that we will get to say more to each other soon!

  4. Fiona

    How brave you are Theresa and this is delightful – it conjures the long hot days of summer perfectly – it made me yearn for them!

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Fi– ah yes, I yearn for that too. Especially as we just got a winter blizzard here yesterday in Minnesota. No fair!

  5. Charle' Nielsen

    Love the challenges!! So happy for you!

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Charle! And so glad for all the work we’re doing together…

  6. Linda Mudry

    This is beautiful for its images…so true and with such feeling. I like the way you wove the images with the thoughts…what it means to be a leader, in charge of other kids on this little adventure…and then back to images of lying in the sun. It made me homesick for and time and place which is now lost.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Linda… those images/memories of childhood are so potent!

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