Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt challenged me to write a poem using metonyms to invoke a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place. I wrote a poem about the metonym “gas” that has a literal use during World War 1 and now a metonymic use in a college dorm room.
Silent But Deadly
You gased us!
You carpet bombed the whole group.
Was it announced from a floating trumpet?
No! Nor did it erupt fourth on a foghorn.
Instead, it crept in on us like a busted wind.
A mist that was both silent and deadly.
Boy, Howdy! Did this one-gun salute pack a wallop!
Most of your blasts clear an entire room.
But this ripper?
It was as invisible as the magic puffs from a dragon.
Yet more sinister than a back drafting barn burner.
Once we caught a whiff of it, it was already too late.
The tank had been emptied and the dark steamer was upon us!
I think I heard someone gurgle out, “Gas!” in the confusion.
Me? I had already breathed in the uncorked symphony.
Your venting would be my last death breath.
Falling, convulsing, gasping for air.
I had only one fleeting thought within this toxic fog:
Who had dared dealt it?
But we all knew the answer to this folly.
It was Jerry.
It was always Jerry.
#napowrimo #napowrimo21 #napowrimo2021