The Silver Lining No. 1 – “My Son”

Earlier this month, I proposed a modified version of The Golden Shovel poetry form: “The Silver Lining” – which I hope takes all the respect and goodness of The Golden Shovel form but provides just a minor twist that allows for more flexibility. You can check out the rules for the form and an example here.

In this post, I share my Silver Lining poem from the prompt I provided. Nobody took me up on the offer to collaborate, so no round-up of poetry from the community this time.

Silver Lining Prompt No. 01

“And the sun readies himself for sleep, drowses backward toward the horizon, and the woods whisper while the wind massages the sprawling arms of leaf-thick maples

from Summer by Ross Gay

My Son by Monty Vern

From “Summer” by Ross Gay

My son, yes, my sun



For war, for famine, for a final end of times, or just a restless sleep

He drowses

Under pills prescribed and falls backward

His voice fades away from the phone toward

Somewhere, anywhere, away from our horizon

Did he fall asleep? We ask each other hopefully. Are we, for the moment, out of these unforgiving worried woods?

We listen carefully for a whisper

Of breath while

Imagining his heart beating a gentle wind

Sending messages of care like those massages

He always loved when cuddling as a young child sprawling

Across our bed in our welcoming arms;

All blind to the leaf-thick

Path ahead of tangled roots and branched maples.

Be well,



  1. Kathleen says:

    Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Thank you 🙏


  2. gigglingfattie says:

    Oh wow! Nicely done, Monty!!

    Liked by 1 person

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