Poem a Day – Day 21 – Prompt is Fingerprints


The photo above and today’s OctPoWriMo prompt were from the very talented Julie Jordan Scott. Our prompt was to think about fingerprints, handprints, or footprints.

I like the idea of exploring where our fingerprints might be in this world – whether it be physical places we have been and things we have literally touched, or, as I’ve chosen to explore, a metaphorical fingerprint.

I love the line quoted in Dead Poets Society (a favorite) from Walt Whitman’s O Me! O Life!

What good amid these? O me? O life?
That you are here- that life exists and identity
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

As Mr. Keating then asked, “What will your verse be?”


I watched him read out loud
to his brothers one day
when he thought I wasn’t looking.

I saw him helping a friend
in a quiet thoughtful way,
without being asked to help.

I heard him express himself
clearly and intelligently
with confidence, not fear.

I hear and see so much
he does, he says, he is,
with so much pride in him.

I tell myself hopefully that there must
be at least some of my fingerprints
in this person he is becoming.