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Aubade by Dore Kiesselbach

“Take me with you”
my mother says
standing in her nightgown
as, home from college,
I prepare to leave
before dawn.
The desolation
she must face
was once my concern
but like a bobber
pulled beneath
the surface
by an inedible fish
she vanished
into the life
he offered her.
It stopped occurring
to me she might return.
“I’ll be back” I say
and then I go.

typing prompt

Current Writing Prompt

An aubade is a morning love poem/song, though it is sometimes about lovers separating at dawn. If you search for aubades online, you will find many using that as a title that do not follow the morning lovers motif. Since there is no fixed meter or rhyme for the form, there is usually no way to identify a poem easily as an aubade.

This month's model poem is one that I found that follows that original definition. What I find interesting in Dore Kiesselbach's "Aubade" is that the loved ones are a mother and child.

I learned recently that the opposite of an aubade is probably a serenade which is intended for performance in the evening. I also found that at one time an even narrower definition of an aubade was that it is a lyric sung, said or addressed to a sleeping lover (back then, a woman) by the departing lover. That may be an idea for your own aubade this month.

Aubade is a French word meaning "dawn serenade" that first appears in English in the 1670s. In English, it came to be used for a song or poem of lovers parting at dawn, and later it came to refer to songs sung in the morning hours. Today, we think of a serenade as a song sung in the evening, so a "morning serenade" is a bit of an oxymoron.

We will be strict with our prompt and ask you to write a poem set in the morning and related to leaving a loved one - "leaving" and "loved one" are open to interpretations.

Deadline for submissions: October 31, 2020 (Halloween!)

Check our archive of more than two decades of prompts and poems, and our blog for much more.
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