Theme Friday: Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time

West Putnam was

a brand new building

of brick and blue

carnival cakewalks

confetti on the floor

Mr. Williams waltzing

Mrs. Collins at the keys

Miss Mary, Mrs. Liggett


(lunches like food from your

grandma’s house-

they loved us like that).

Once upon a time

was West Putnam

who stands still

with empty halls

ceilings on the floor

Milk carton caskets

with turtle bones

buried at playground’s edge.

Once upon a time

West Putnam

was/is/was always



Christine and Annie (who suggested this week’s theme) take on Once Upon A Time.

11 Responses to “Theme Friday: Once Upon A Time”

  1. […] Once upon a time, Annie wrote a fairytale… And clancyjane lived happily ever after… […]

  2. […] and Clancy’s once upon a time… Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Fire – Theme FridayThe […]

  3. once upon a time a reunion was made for the forgotten building called west putnam. and once upone a time it was realized it wasn’t the building that was corroding in the wind that made it but the wonderful people that became a family inside!!

    • clancyjane Says:

      We needed that reunion, didn’t we? Why on earth did we wait so long. We did become a family inside that building. I really like the way you said that.

  4. Your gift, clancyjane, is putting the sense of person within the sense of place. Well done!

  5. Hey Clancy,
    I love your style of cobbling words together – it makes the reader feel familiar and a part of the piece immediately. I had a very similar once upon a time and you took there with this. Lovely.


    • clancyjane Says:

      Thank you, Annie. I’d love to read your Once Upon A Time that was similar. I’m in awe again this week at how different the prompt was interpreted between us, and how much I liked the two of yours.

  6. I adore milk carton caskets. And the turtle bones. Well, everything actually. I agree with Julia and Annie, in that your words have hands that gently grasp those of the reader- Here, let me show you.

    Your writing, like in this piece, is gracious and hospitable. It feels like you’ve written everyone’s experience, even if the reader has not had the experience. Does that make sense?

    Simply- you know your heart. You know the heart. And you know the hearts of others. You write them skillfully.

    • clancyjane Says:


      It does make sense. I see that in the raw wounds you write us, and in the way you language that which we have no words for.

      We write so differently, but if we have that one thing in common, it surpasses my most farflung hopes.

      What you’ve said here touches me in a way I can’t tell you.

  7. anonymouse Says:

    For a time,
    while reading my memories from my-but-not-quite mouth and the remarkably eloquent/elegant responses,
    I’ve forgotten–which is no easy feat with such obsessions–Nelle & Alice & the favorite and its commentaries.
    PRICELESS past. PRICELESS honoring of it with these words.

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