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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

TITLE: Just The Other Day
By Joanne Sher


Just the other day
I saw innocence speed by
in 3T overalls
a bright yellow shirt
Bob the Builder tennis shoes
and a fireman's helmet.

His blue and white tricycle
(with superhero trading cards
stuck in the spokes)
raced down the block,
bicycle bell ringing,
to come to the rescue
of cats stuck in trees
(do firemen still do that?)
and damsels in distress.

His fire hose twig
and boymade sound effects
triumphed over the flames
in grandiose fashion.

He was the hero
to his little sister
his stuffed dalmatian
and his imaginary friend Bud.

He was my hero too
for his reckless abandon
for his innocence
for his love of a pursuit
that had robbed him of a father.

As he napped on my chest
two years ago
(seems like yesterday)
his dada entered the flames
and entered heaven.

He wants to be like
the daddy he doesn't remember
to save the damsel in distress
to protect the world from the flames.

My little firefighter
showed me how to love
how to embrace a memory
how to honor a legacy
just the other day.

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This article has been read 1323 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 10/12/06
The truth? I dislike free verse because it has no rhythym or beat; HOWEVER, this one, "Just The Other Day" told a wonderful story - touched my heart and gave me a new perspective on Free Verse. Nicely done...in a very unique and touching way. Kudos!
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/12/06
This is beautifully written. I can just see the young "fire-fighter."
Susan Johnstone10/13/06
I love this style and it is very readable with a clean tie-in to the topic, and it finishes off so sweetly!
Cassie Memmer10/13/06
Very sweet and poignant. Very well done!
Ann FitzHenry10/13/06
I loved this!! Perhaps it has something to do with my 3T-sized kids at home or more likely it has everything to do with great writing! Fabulous entry!
Linda Watson Owen10/14/06
Beautiful, simply beautiful!!
Pat Guy 10/16/06
This is precious and brought tears to my eyes. You captured innocence and the heart of a little boy so well in this. I loved it. (and a really good job at that!)
Donna Haug10/16/06
I loved your description of teh little boy and his innocense. Very well done.

My only suggestion would be to choose a different word instead of repeating "entered" in the following lines. Maybe something suggesting he came through the flames on the other side into heaven?

"his dada entered the flames
and entered heaven."

Good work!
Jan Ackerson 10/16/06
Oh, my--how tender and wonderfully written. Just perfect.
Jen Davis10/16/06
Your stories are always such a pleasure. This one was very touching: “He wants to be like the daddy he doesn’t remember.” I especially liked your descriptions in the third stanza and how you tied the beginning and end together in the last stanza. Nicely done.
Donna Powers 10/16/06
Oh, how lovely: "I saw innocence speed by." All I can say is ... WOW.

Just wonderful. Thank you.
Shari Armstrong 10/18/06
Ok -not fair - you almost had me in tears! It took a little while to "feel" the rhythm, but worth the read.
Sara Harricharan 10/18/06
This was beautiful-really great writing. I can't think of anything you could change. Excellent job!
Bonnie Derksen10/18/06
You may be looking for a critique, but I'm sorry, you'll not get it from me.

This is beautiful, heartwarming, and tear-jerking all at the same time.

I loved the free verse that obviously flowed from your heart and your pen.

Such beautiful, descriptive phrases that have left me sighing deeply.

A most enjoyable read that I will definitely be revisiting!

Aylin Smith 10/18/06
I loved it!
Suzanne R10/19/06
The way you increasingly revealed more of the story was very well done. To start with a cute little kid and the narrator's voice thrown in, you make the reader smile and think, "Oh - how cute." But then when you hint at the little boy's deceased Dad then when the narrator tells the reader how the Dad died, well, the heart just starts to cry. Beautifully done.
Jacquelyn Horne07/21/07
This is so heartwarming. All mothers can identify, especially those who have husbands who work as firemen and police officers.
Chely Roach06/02/08
Joanne, this was phenomenal...I absolutely love it.
Dianne Janak07/08/08
WHat I love about this free verse, is that putting it in poem form, versus prose, each line stands on its own and is NOTICED differently. It to me is a good example of the benefits of free verse. It's a beautiful tool to highlight each living line to bring it in 3D color to the rest of us... thanks for inspiring me!
Beth LaBuff 07/08/08
This is so poignant. You've got great poetic elements in this. I love it!