Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT March 14th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read an excerpt from Sirens by Billy Collins, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Write about a sound that prompted you to stop.”

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Friday March 18th at 12pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

Sirens by Billy Collins

Not those women who lure sailors
onto a reef with their singing and their tresses,
but the screams of an ambulance
bearing the sick, the injured, and the dying
across the rational grid of the city.

We get so used to the sound
it’s just another sharp in the city’s tune.
Yet it’s one thing to stop on a sidewalk
with other pedestrians to watch one
flashing and speeding down an avenue

while a child on a corner covers her ears
and a shopkeeper appears in a doorway,
but another thing when one gets stuck
in traffic and seems to be crying for its mother
who has fled to another country.

Everyone keeps walking along then,
eyes cast down—for after all,
there’s nothing we can do,
and today we are not the one peering
up at the face of an angel dressed in scrubs.

Some of us are late for appointments
a few blocks away, while others
have the day off and take their time
angling across a broad, leafy avenue
before being engulfed by the green of a park.

“Sirens” by Billy Collins from The Rain in Portugal. © Random House, 2016.