Backwards in Time

It’s National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), and I’m completing a challenge to write 30 poems in 30 days. Today, I am combining the daily poetry prompt with the Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt. The NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem that tells a story…but tells it backward. Thus, the first line of the poem is the end of the story. As I see it, I have four challenges: make it poetic; make it tell a story with a beginning, middle and end; make it work whether it is read forward or backward, and keep it to 100 words. You can let me know if I succeeded in the comments!

For more information on Friday Fictioneers, or to post your own story, please visit our lovely leader’s website, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple.

antique store mary shipman

Photo copyright: Mary Shipman


The nightmare ended as quickly as it began

She turned to watch her pursuer vanish in a cloud of dust

Dazed, she ran through the doorway into the mall

His face red with rage

He turned to look at her in her flimsy sundress

His harsh words echoed through the rafters




He reminded her of her grandfather

A man in Victorian dress berated a young clerk

Dizziness overcame her

Sun peeked through high windows, reflected off dust motes

The walls were as faded and stained as the wares

The antique store looked like a portal in time

ย ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:ย 


29 thoughts on “Backwards in Time

  1. What a great attempt to reach the challenge, very well done all in a day. Loved every word of it except [the portal in time]

  2. It absolutely works. I’m difficult, I like it better forward, it reads like half a dream, half a memory, losing the linear timeline for a brief moment and being disoriented. The backwards story is a time travel piece, logical in its sequence, and thrilling. Both are great.

  3. This totally works backward and forward. I probably like the forward version but that’s only because that’s what I’m used to reading, Jan. You could almost read this as a loop which works with the portal in time idea. Brilliant piece. A big success!

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