Pawprint [15 Words or Less]

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. 

Jack's pawprint 15wol
Photo: Laura P. Salas

This is Captain Jack’s pawprint on our front sidewalk. Something about our weather cycle of snow, melt, freeze, etc., and that fact that he goes in and out a gazillion times a day, means we captured a cool pawprint where it’s his print filled in with snow/ice, making this little paw sculpture! This image makes me think of several things:

  1. dinosaur eggs
  2. jewels spilled out on a jeweler’s counter
  3. boulders at Lake Superior’s shore

And here’s my first draft.

Chicks in Flight 15wol


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





31 Responses


    Kitchen floor,
    sparkling clean
    muddy dog,
    on the scene
    little boy
    caught in between.

    1. Perfect Cindy. We’ve recovered from 8″ of snow and now rain.
      I’ve given up on keeping paw prints off my kitchen floor and smile
      when remembering how frustrated my mom would become
      with three of us tracking her clean floors. I’ve had payback
      big time!

    2. Ha! Adore that title, Cindy. Totally sums up the poem, but also intrigues a reader into reading!

  2. This image reminds me of the card we received from the vet after we lost our dachshund years ago.

    The sympathy card
    a tiny paw print
    Goodbye, sweet friend.

    1. I fell hard for my son’s fiancee’s dog 3 years ago. And I am not a dog person. This reminded me of a photo I love of my son and the dog’s foot/paw prints in the snow. (They share the same birthday so i think it was meant to be.)

      On Finally Learning to Love a Dog

      Until TolaSage
      I never knew
      an indelible tattoo
      could paw its way
      onto my heart.

      For Marilyn Singer, too, who lost her beloved dog this week.

      1. Janet, this is beautiful. I love the change it shows in you. What a gift for Marilyn–poetry heals.

    2. So sorry for you loss Margaret and how
      thoughtful of your vet. My first thought
      is akin to yours.

    3. This is for Margaret, a beautiful poem of remembering. Vets and doctors see too much loss, yet they help us through it as best they can. A kind gesture from your vet.

  3. Good morning. Laura, definitely a nest of downy chicks. definitely. Captain Jack did well with in art class!

    Alternative to Plaster of Paris

    small canvas
    inserted into fluffy throw
    crewel embroidery
    pet’s paw
    offers comfort to all

    1. Aw, Martha, this sounds like a lovely remembrance. And “crewel” also brings to mind “cruel,” as the world sometimes feels when we lose a pet.

  4. Those chicks are amazing, aren’t they, Laura? We had a nest fall on our front porch last year during a cold night, scattering pink newborn chickadees everywhere. They were like little top-heavy worms as we picked them all up and returned them to their nest. Fortunately, 4 of the 5 survived.

    I went with ice sculpture for my 15WOL. It’s a reflection of my state of mind in this new year on the eve of the inauguration.

    first impressions
    she considers her options
    sharpens the chisel

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Hopefully beauty and strength will appear. Makes me think of Michaelangelo and his sculting. I adored the book The Agony and the Ecstasy which I read during college. I would read it again. I feel her power in your poem. Caveat here: I have next to no artistic talent.…however. Glad to be here at 15 WOL and trying to spend more time engaging and hopefully at TLD as well.

    2. Oooh, love that! This is like a whole novel boiled down to a single moment/image. Oh, gosh, on the chickadees. I haven’t seen newborn chicks in real life in…I can’t even think how long. So glad you were able to rescue most of them!

  5. So nice of your beagle to make this sculpture, Laura! Your thoughts of dog walks led me to this:

    Winter Morning

    Sunlight gleams
    on frozen trees

    pawprints sparkle
    nostrils startle

    fingers shiver
    while doggies linger

    1. So nice, Buffy. This is more the type of poem I was hoping for but no time, no time. Maybe later. But this is lovely. I love nostrils startle!!!!! And those lingering doggies!!!

  6. I love your wonderful descriptions of baby chicks, Laura. The picture made me think of a flower, the colors, I guess. My poem in in a fun form called a hay(na)ku — just 6 words: 1,2,3 or 3,2,1 per line.

    sudden ice storm
    flowers frozen

    1. Have not heard of this form, Lauren, but I like it !!! And these poor flowers.….captured for a while and then …gone.

    2. Wow. This completely gets across the feeling of suddenness. That line break between 2 and 3 is wonderful. Haven’t heard of this form before!

  7. That track reminds me of a crystal heart, a valentine. But that’s not what I wrote about. 🙂

    A dog was here,
    a bird, a deer.
    Their tracks speak out
    in quiet snow.

    —Kate Coombs

    1. “in quiet snow”.…so perfect, Kate. I picture those tracks and see them often. But not right now since I am luckily in the warmth of Florida weather for a few more days.

    2. Oh, lovely. I have been enjoying snowprint tracks all winter. Love the contrast of tracks speaking and snow being quiet.

  8. Your poem really tells a story in 15 words that seem like more. The poor birds.…..the squirrels are really persistent. I remember my in-laws putting and old 33 rpm vinyl record on top of the feeder but the squirrels did not give up though watching them slide off was funny.…..I think the squirrels succeeded. But that cat!!!!

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