Book of instructions

A fun writing group yesterday.  One new person and one established person who I hadn’t met yet (along with the usual people), so we were a nice lively group.

I am always intrigued by other people’s take on the prompt.  The fact that we get 3 prompts means that sometimes there will be no-one to compare with, but yesterday my take on “Book of instructions” did have some overlap with another writer’s.   However, his was a nice chatty observation piece whereas mine was a poem:


The book of instructions appears to have gone missing.
Frustrated, I search through the filing cabinet,
I mine the mountain of paper by the front door.
In the spare room, I scan the double-stacked volumes.
I pull out the pamphlets, and the self-help books,
Family histories and teenage diaries.

In the library, I search under “I”, but nothing is forthcoming.
I look inside school desks, in my university pigeonhole.
I look under pews, turning over long-unused kneelers,
Opening prayer books, the obsolete liturgy smelling of incense.
I walk by the river, turning over stones.
I ask everyone I meet: have you seen the instructions?

Until I realise that life is improvised
and the important words are not found in books.

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