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Writing Exercise: Newspaper Clipping

August 13, 2014


I’ve been collecting newspaper clippings for a while; little snippets that strike me as grotesque, picturesque, or just likely to trigger a poem or story. Here’s the one I selected today:

IMG_0194[1]Ashley smooths the ground around the base of her sapling and straightens up. Pulling off her gardening gloves, she surveys the scene: people in fleecy tops and dirt-smeared jeans, hunched over amongst hundreds of small, spindly trees, ghostly in their white, protective plastic bags. She wishes the scene didn’t so strongly remind her of a cemetery; the neatly laid-out rows, the freshly-turned earth, the gardeners carefully tending their plots.

Her hair is coming down. She yanks the elastic from her ponytail and vigorously shakes it loose, as if trying to dislodge her negative thoughts. She tries to come up with a less morbid comparison –  a hospital ward of newborns, laid out in rows and swaddled in white.

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