Today’s writing inspiration comes from Kimberly Johnson, Ed.D. She is a literacy coach and media specialist in a public school in rural Georgia. She enjoys writing as a guest blogger for www.writerswhocare.com and counts down the days between monthly 5-Day Writing Challenges.  She is the author of Father, Forgive Me: Confessions of a Southern Baptist Preacher’s KidFollow her on Twitter at @kimjohnson66.

Inspiration

In The Right Words at the Right Time by Marlo Thomas, celebrities and famous personalities share their stories about how prophetic words delivered at pivotal moments helped shape the course of their future. For example, Shaquille O’Neal’s mother’s guiding words to him were, “Later doesn’t always come to everybody.”

Process

Consider the people whose words were your guiding lights in direction and decision making. How did they help you make an important decision or to see things from a more clarifying perspective?
Challenge: Raise a Glass to the Literary Avant-Garde by writing a “Right Words at the Right Time” verse. Embolden your right words at the right time.

Kim’s Poem

The Greatest Gift

Saturday, December 22, 1984
the letter arrived

dated
Wednesday, December 19, 1984

from 13-year-old
Tolliver,
whose world was as dark
as his skin.
“Hi, Kimberly,
This is your friend,
Tolliver.”

Tolliver
from Camp Leo for the Blind,
where I’d been a counselor that summer.

Tolliver
who lived in the inner-city
with a disabled mother
and a recently deceased father
and 4 sighted brothers and sisters.

Tolliver
who had tucked a one dollar bill
inside the letter, wishing me
a Merry Christmas
as I read his gut-punching news
through blinding tears,
Christmas tree lights twinkling
across the room,
the merriment of music losing.

“What do I do with this?” I asked Dad,
a minister
with all the right answers
in 1984.

“Let me think,” he said,
taking the envelope.

Sunday, December 23, 1984
from the Pulpit:

Sermon – The Greatest Gifts of Christmas,
closing story

“Hi, Kimberly,
This is your friend
Tolliver,”
Dad read,
sharing snippets
of passages to
eyes filling with tears,
sniffles echoing.

He turned to me
with his answer:

“You keep it.
It’s the greatest gift you’ve
ever gotten
because it came
from deep within the heart
of the giver
when it was
all
he had to give.”

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