Hello [15 Words or Less Poems]

Hello, and welcome! This is 15 Words or Less Poems, a low-pressure way to wake up your poetry brain (guidelines here), and I’m very glad you’re here. Thank you for continuing to tune in over the summer and participate, even though I’ve been largely absent. That has meant a lot to me.

doormat 15wol
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This is the new doormat I bought a few weeks ago. It says “Hello” as you enter and “Goodbye” as you leave. This summer has been a time of many hellos and goodbyes for me, and I was thinking about how the beginning of the school year really highlights that.

This week’s image reminded me of several things:

  1. a nametag
  2. how often we don’t say what we mean
  3. quizzes in magazines with the answers upside down at the bottom of the page

Here’s my first draft.

inside each goodbye 15wol

It’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS! (Title doesn’t count toward word count)

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37 Responses

  1. Well, I made the mistake of reading your poem before getting what I wanted to say in my mind. Your poem hits the nail on the head.

    DEFLATED

    I HAD high expectations.
    then, began to worry.
    Soon anticipation
    left me in a hurry.

    1. Oops…thanks? But I love this! How often have we started an event or tried a hobby and then given up before giving it a real chance? I’m guilty:>)

    2. Oh, yes! This reminds me of my first motorcycle riding lesson… Hello — Goodbye! Fortunately, I gave the “Hello” another try — but it’s so easy to give up sometimes when the going gets tougher than we thought it would be! Nice take!

  2. Poem By Jessica Bigi

    Forehead Cookie

    mired reflections
    of the way we should
    live our lives

    1. Poem By Jessica Bigi

      Fore chant Cookie

      mired reflections
      of the way we should
      live our lives

      Reply

      1. I like the way this talks about the reflections of hello and goodbye but pokes into the important stuff–what comes between!

  3. You opened the door
    I hesitated
    You opened your arms
    I melted
    The door stays open…

    1. Oh, Margaret–this is lovely. You’ve captured the beautiful fluidity of lasting relationships! Love the “hesitated.”

  4. I came up with a mish-mash on my iPad and too many words, then got up to make coffee. As I went into the kitchen, yelled at the dog for — well, yelled at the cat, actually, for harassing the dog… this came to me suddenly. So forget all the words I was trying to pare down — this is it.

    And Everything In-Between

    - a smiled hi
    …Love, Laughter, Life…
    a cried goodbye -

    1. Meant to add how much I loved your take on it. All those “good” things before the “bye” that last and last in our memories! Love it lots!

    2. Yes! Love the title, and adore the way you have the opening and closing lines be specific moments and then a whole life filling in the in between. Really great!

  5. Dittos Cindy. Laura, your take is perfect. But, we must all stick to the purpose for which this “community” exists and offer something different. Wishing you a wonderful day and pleasant weekend.

    Double Entendre

    you shout “HELLO”
    I whimper “goodbye”
    all caps then lower case
    turn smiles into sighs.

    1. Oh, this is an interesting one, Martha. I can interpret it a few different ways, but I’m thinking my melancholy interpretation is probably most on target. (Funnily, when I bought this doormat, I kind of thought it was sort of passive aggressive. Or split personality. Or bipolar. You know.)

  6. I love everyone’s poems today. Wonderful takes on the picture and I love the doormat.
    Immediately I thought of all the different places we have lived. We moved many times, but hardest move was a big one. Boys were gone, we both had retired, we both wanted a warmer climate.

    Moving

    Goodbye, house,
    filled with boys, noise,
    chaos and love.
    Hello, new home,
    new life,
    retirement!

    1. A big move like that (I’m finding personally right now) is such a concrete reminder of what stage of life you’re in. This is a beautiful poem, Pat. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. I love everyone poems today all so different I love how we see different thing in the same pic

  8. I’m in the Scranton Airport on the way home from a terrific Highlights poetry workshop–this is my pep talk to myself to keep going after an inspiring and encouraging few days.

    After the Workshop

    Hello confidence
    Goodbye doubt

    Hello pluck
    Goodbye bleak

    Pick up pen–
    Time to write!

  9. OK, I played with the idea of not wanting to wipe my feet on that nice door mat.

    I tiptoed
    over the doormat
    HELLO
    for fear of
    my muddy feet
    making
    a typo.

    1. Leaving IS hard. It’s why we spend time in bad jobs, relationships, places…I love the stark, plain truth of your poem!

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