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)



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.


    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


      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.


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

    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
    for fear of
    my muddy feet
    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!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,523 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can Be...art projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnccbcCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLine Leads the WayLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoneymoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)National Poetry Month 2024 (magnipoems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreview copiesreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZapZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Discover more from Laura Purdie Salas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."