Poetry is Written in Words: Forty-Four

Poems from my Merriam-Webster Word of the Day project. For more information, look here.

confidant : one to whom secrets are entrusted

I have learned
to keep my mouth shut
no one can
shake me down
when my one confidant is
the blue jay in flight

shadorma 415 : 6/24/22

riposte : a retaliatory verbal sally : RETORT

A smart-mouthed child is
not the same as a smart child
they said. Send her to
her room. I learn: A smart child
keeps her ripostes to herself.

tanka 320 : 8/9/22

nugatory : of little or no consequence : TRIFLING, INCONSEQUENTIAL

So I hammered out
some nugatory insults
laughed at past pratfalls
threw in some rickety jokes –
You wished I’d kept my mouth shut.

tanka 356 : 11/17/22


“Confidant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confidant. Accessed 24 Jun. 2022.

“Riposte.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/riposte. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

“Nugatory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nugatory. Accessed 17 November 2022.

10 thoughts on “Poetry is Written in Words: Forty-Four

  1. I am enjoying spotting the thematic connections between the poems in this series as you present them each time. This time I see the theme of the unsaid – or things that should have been unsaid. And you’ve taught me a new word again: nugatory.

  2. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever known myself to know a word that you didn’t. Nugatory is familiar to me from my banking days, I seem to remember lawyers using it a lot. And I so appreciate your insight into the connections- I do try to make the poems in the group reinforce each other. Thank you.

    • Thank you. I spent a lot of time being in trouble for a smart mouth in my younger years. Now I may also be in just as much trouble but as an adult, I don’t get sent to my room at least.

        • It got me into a lot of trouble, but I could not seem to stop it. Well, really, I didn’t want to. I was very strong-minded and I simply felt my opinions were good, were worth hearing, and were going to be heard! That did not come off well with adults, especially.

  3. All these made me laugh! I never had a “smart mouth” but a friend of mine was forever grounded for her back talk and “sass”!

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