All he asked for RSS

All he asked for

12 April, 2016: All he asked for


by Don Cellini

All he asked for
was a ride home.

They took him
to the country

instead, tied him
to a fence post,

robbed him,
tortured him,

and left him for dead.
There were

no witnesses.
They tied him

to a fence post
and left him for dead.

The stars
closed their eyes.

His face was covered
with blood

except where
his tears

had washed it clean.
Left him for dead.

There were
no witnesses.

The stars
closed their eyes

and the moon
had to turn away.

“All he asked for” by Don Cellini from Candidates for Sainthood and Other Sinners. Mayapple Press, 2013. Used by permission of the author.

Don Cellini is a teacher, poet, and translator. After a teaching career of more than 40 years which began at Lakewood St. Edward High School, with stints at Cleveland State University and Baldwin Wallace University, he retired from Adrian College in Michigan. He has authored six collections of poetry, the most recent being Stone Poems (Foothills Publishing, 2016). He has also translated four books by contemporary Mexican poets. He is presently the translations editor for The Ofi Press: International Fiction and Poetry from Mexico City. You can see his work on his website.


Begin a poem with one of these opening lines: All she asked for…, All we asked for…, All I asked for…, or All you asked for….

Rose Peppers
All we asked for was a home,
A place to lay our heads for rest,
Did not want the best,
Just a clean, nice home to call our own.
No fancy craft work in the wood,
Just beautiful solid wood floors, that's good,
It does not have to put a person in a builder's zone.
It should be warm and inviting to friends,
No need to follow the trends,
Home, no more to roam
4/12/2016 1:16:37 PM

Love this poem. What is the specific technique used? I see the repeats, the short lines, the division into couplets.
4/12/2016 11:12:24 AM

Cara Armstrong
All she asked for was to share an ashtray, but that led to a conversation while she was waiting for an interview with Alison Lurie that never happened, then a dinner out, an interview with Tom Williams, a drive up to Miami, many letters, a first visit in Paris, videotaping Hemingway look-a-likes in Sloppy Joe’s, renting a Volkswagen Beetle in Mexico you called Chiquita, a missed tour of Tulum, pasta that flew in Assisi, a stolen painting in Amsterdam, a bed and breakfast in southern France with the first man on the moon’s granddaughter and over 30 years of friendship in 6 different countries sprinkled in with oysters and pate parties and whiskies and swimming in pools and in oceans and sometime in there, you both quit smoking, and last night we drank a toast to her, a year after she died and we just said her name and “cheers.”
4/12/2016 9:01:49 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.