the Lesson_Writing Assignment # 10

The Lesson: “When My Daughter Cuts the Roses”

Writing Assignment #10 – The Lesson


I had some great news today!  The editor of “Magnets and Ladders Literary Magazine”  notified me that one of my two poems to be published in the forthcoming Spring/Summer issue has received a 2nd place PRIZE for Poetry.

The title of the poem is:

“When My Daughter Cuts the Roses.”

Here’s the BACK STORY to the Poem:

Our daughter, Ilsa Barry, visited us last November. I had a bouquet of fresh flowers on the dining room table. She glanced at the bouquet of roses  and said, “The water in the vase is cloudy. I will change the water for you.”   We walked out to the kitchen sink with the bouquet, and she began teaching me how to take proper care of a fresh bouquet of flowers.  She emphasized how to keep the water fresh and how to cut the stems of the flowers so that they would last long in the vase.

As I watched her going through the process, she explained what she was doing.  I took mental notes.  Later, my memories of that afternoon lesson came flooding into my thoughts as I wrote a poem.

The POINT here is this:

The most basic and mundane activity can be transformed into a poem. 




“When My Daughter Cuts the Roses”

My daughter looked

at the bouquet of fresh roses

noticed two of them were drooping.

“Let me show you how to trim the roses

so they stay fresh and strong.” she said.

Her hands held the roses tenderly

one-by-one, trimmed off extra  leaves

“These will make the water stink,” she said.

She  found  scissors  in the drawer

put the roses in a bowl of tepid water

held each stem under water

sliced  them all, diagonally –

“As I cut the rose under the water,

little bubbles of air come to the surface.

Now, when the rose inhales

it will only breathe water into it,

it won’t fill up with air.

The living water inside the stems

gives longer life to each rose.”

She carried the freshened flowers

In the tall glass vase

back to the center of the dining room table

darkest  crimson buds, sunny yellow petals,

deep green fern leaves

and a frilly white carnation.


by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved..

Published: “Magnets and Ladders Literay Magazine” Spring/Summer Issue, 2015.

Won 2nd Prize for Poetry.

Visit this link to read the latest issue of “Magnets and Ladders Literary Magazine.”   www.magnetsandladders.or


Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #10:

Think about something you learned how to do. Did someone teach it to you?

In your journal, I want you to record every aspect of how you learned to do something. As you see in my poem, it can be a very simple task.  Perhaps you learned something recently – or – maybe it was a lesson learned a long time ago. Spend some time today thinking about it.

What was the occasion for the lesson?

Who was teaching it to you?

Where were you at the time?

What was significant enough for you to remember it?

Add any other information that comes to your mind.

Write your poem in free verse.

Speak it out loud as you write – and several times during the writing process.

Listen carefully to the sounds you have made.

Make the changes you need to make to allow the voice of the poem to relate the lesson and the experience of that special time.

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