Megan Scudellari’s “Ms. B” and Will Dowd’s “Ode to My Inhaler”

Ms. B

by Megan Scudellari

If tonight’s rain
continues its dogged drops
drops will wash away the egg scent
scent to barricade bunnies from the tulips
tulips bursting from bulbs entombed in the fall
the fall after the bunnies picked the impatiens to death
spring impatiens buried right before the virus came to town
our town’s flower club obsessed with plant-pestering bunnies
pert cinnamon bunnies invade through a Trojan bush at our fence
a bush at our fence screening the gap gouged by their bulldozer
the bulldozer that’s slow-picking Ms. B’s bungalow to death
her bungalow next door transmuted to a towering Tudor
a Tudor for a young family that never got sick
never sick, except for Ms. B next door
Ms. B who grew flowers for bunnies
pert bunnies who love tulips
white tulips in the rain
a dogged rain to
wash it all

* Writing Prompt: Think of a common object, event, or phenomenon that you dislike or even detest. Then write a poem about the reverse perspective, in which your narrator or characters care dearly about that thing. Why do they care? Why does it mean something different to them?

Ode to My Inhaler

by Will Dowd

O inhaler,
zippo with the Ventolin flame.
O genie,
lung graffiti,
chamber of cloud and cactus water.
I love your tang
of ozone and sulfate.
I love your plosive
puff puffing
at my sails.
You make me feel safe
like a can of mace
in the pocket.
Morning cigarette,
New Years’ cigar,
you are my special high,
the original high,
the newborn taking
her first breath high,
breath of life
into mud high,
high of the free-faller,
of punctured parachutes,
of strings that reach
down or up
to hoist me off the floor,
to hoist me
back to limpid
light-headed life—
a marionette’s life.
O inhaler,
I am alive
again, bouncing,
floating almost,
and my feet
graze the stage
boards for the sake
of appearances.

* Writing Prompt: Try writing an ode or love poem to a daily object that has personal significance to you. The less traditionally “poetic” the object, the better!

Megan Scudellari

Megan Scudellari’s poetry has appeared in Soul-Lit and is forthcoming in a COVID-19 anthology from Train River Publishing. Megan writes about science news for national magazines and newspapers and authored a college biology textbook, now in its third edition from publisher W.W. Norton. She lives outside Boston with her husband and three young children, and is currently working on a poetry collection exploring the effects of the pandemic on kids.

Will Dowd

Will Dowd is a writer and artist living on the South Shore of Massachusetts. His first book, Areas of Fog, was named a Massachusetts Book Awards Nonfiction “Must Read.” His writing has appeared in Writer’s Digest,, LitHub, Post Road Magazine, and elsewhere. More information is available at