My writing teacher, Hope, used to love verbs ending in -ish: nourish, brandish, relish. She said they acted out boldly in that final syllable. Now I love those words too.

This week’s stranger was delivering mail when I asked him for a word. He smiled a great big smile and considered several different words (including some historical British ones, such as wainscot). At last he settled on my favorite of the –ish words.

The Stranger: John 

His Word: Flourish

The poem I wrote:

I like work. I like to hold
a position, letting it ask
and ask of me until it is

finished. Any room
you work in becomes
your room eventually,
just as any dog you bathe
becomes your dog:

what I know

about keeping up hope
during work or rest is
that we need props,
those building-block
people or spaces or
even objects like tea

to help us last longer
in something like grace:
this is how we flourish
so that love is all we remember.


The Challenge: Do you have a poem in you on this word? Write one here.