Poem: Spilled Coffee

I know this isn’t a happy, happy, joy, joy type of poem, especially during the Christmas season, but it wanted to get out and I’ve been working on it for a number of days now.  I decided to post this with the original version at the bottom of the page and subsequent revisions working their way up to the final version at the top.  Some of the revisions have more change than others.  I also provide a little narrative on why I made the change.  Not sure this will be my method for all poems I post, but we’ll see.

revis 5/final
Spilled Coffee
Unfocused eyes lock
onto the dropped cup,
red and festive and
spilling hot coffee
onto the floor mat.
Pallid skin contrasts
the dark red spilling
down the face almost
as well as the red
of the cup contrasts
the white, now-spattered
lid.  The horn blares on.

[Had to ensure the reader sees the lid as white.]

revis 4
Unfocused eyes lock
onto the dropped cup,
red and festive and
spilling hot coffee
onto the floor mat.
Pallid skin contrasts
the dark red spilling
down the face almost
as well as the red
of the cup contrasts
the now-spattered lid,
as the horn blares on.

[I decided that describing the unfocused stare worked better than trying so hard to describe the actual ‘openness’ of the eyes.  Gives a better picture of the unseeing gaze that’s locked onto an object, but not really ‘seeing’ it.   Dropped Christmassy in favor of festive.  Folks can decide for themselves just how “festive” the coffee was.  Finally hit upon what I’d been thinking all along with the face.  I’d been thinking of a face losing it’s color due to blood loss.  Had been trying to think of how to add the pale skin contrasted with the red color of the blood and the spattering on the white lid.]

revis 3
Eyes barely open
and locked on the cup
spilling hot coffee
onto the floor mat.
The Christmas red cup
masks the darker red
spilling from the face
fading to white like
the now-spattered lid
as the horn blares on

[I felt the eyes work better still open, but not fully vs. opening.  Had the half-closed, drowsy look in my mind.  I also decided spilling showed a heavier flow of blood than dripping.]

revis 2
Eyes flutter open
and lock on the cup
spilling hot coffee
onto the floor mat.
The Christmas red cup
masks the darker red
dripping from the face
becoming white like
the now-spattered lid
as the horn blares on

[I wanted to describe the cup better.  I was thinking of the Starbucks holiday cups with the bright white lids.]

revis 1
Eyes flutter open
and lock on the cup
spilling hot coffee
onto the floor mat.
The red of the cup
masks the darker red
dripping from the face
becoming white like
the now-spattered lid
as the horn blares on

[I thought flutter worked better to describe the opening of the eyes after a crash.  It also worked for working all the lines into five syllables.]

original
Eyes creep open
Lock onto the cup
Spilling hot coffee
On the floor mat
While the red cup
Masks the darker red
Spilling from the face
Slowly becoming white
Like the now-spattered lid
As the horn blares on
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