Poetry Friday: Billboard

Inspiration for writing comes in many forms, but for me, photography helps words flow. Usually it is the process of taking the photos that get words primed for me.  I find myself thinking, telling myself stories, generating words and thoughts and ideas as I walk, hike, or just frame the shot in front of me.  So it’s photography and not just the photograph that works as prewriting for me.

Thanks to Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche, the idea of a photo exchange as fodder for poetry sounded like a great idea!  Margaret paired people from different parts of the country and facilitated a sharing of photographs.  My partner is Linda over at A Word Edgewise who sent me several photos from a day in our nation’s capital, Washington DC.


I knew immediately which of the three photos I would write to.  But it was harder than I thought to get the words flowing.  I started and stopped, circled back and started again. And even today…a day after the intended publishing date, I’m second guessing this piece. I love this photo! The diffusion of light slanting through the striped umbrellas, the prominence of the sign (do you see the “only white” disclaimer and notice there are no white shirts visible?), the rows of colorful shirts hanging from plastic hangers all facing the same direction…


So here’s my poem:



Two for Ten

cotton billboards

declaring destinations

shouting slogans

peacefully protesting

where, wear

a sign of the times

tangible proof

mass produced

I was there.

Douillard 2018

There’s some other pieces brewing…maybe I’ll get them written yet!  Thank you Linda and Margaret for getting my brain firing.


7 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Billboard

  1. Kay Mcgriff

    This has been a fun challenge, and I’ve enjoyed reading all the pairings of poems and photos. I like the playfulness of your response.

  2. Tabatha

    I have seen many of those vendors in DC! I was surprised by how many vendors popped up for the last march I went to — they are ready with the slogans, ready for the peaceful protests, so you can say “I was there.” Nice work!

  3. mbhmaine

    Kim, your poem really embodies the title of this challenge: More Than Meets The Eye. I love your word choice and how you used verbs and homophones to evoke such action from rows of hanging sweatshirts. Great ending line, too.

  4. margaretsmn

    I read this earlier, but didn’t have a chance to comment. I love how you play with words in your poem, where, wear, and that idea that we wear our billboards. Fun response to the photo. Thanks for participating.

  5. Linda Mitchell


    I love this….and I’m so embarrassed to say I’m just seeing this in July! I can’t tell you how sorry I am. The where/wear center of the poem is perfect.


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