A Legacy of Sorts

by Paul A. Freeman
The Write Idea
Second Place, April 2018
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


Above the Western Desert,
snared by an updraft
the plastic bag soars and swoops
dips and dives
rises once more
into the pale blue sky.

The wondering eye of the sun
tracks its flight
from a Cairo slum
to this desolate expanse.

Seized by a vortex of devil’s own dust,
puffed out like a cherub’s cheeks,
it floats from the clamour of a ghetto
to the soundless dunes.

The plastic bag descends,
sinks in a mire of windblown sand.
By-product of a dying age,
it endures eternal, undegradable –
a relic for humanity
or an alien race.


This is a tightly written, evocative vignette (Seized by a vortex of devil’s own dust,/ puffed out like a cherub’s cheeks,/ it floats from the clamour of a ghetto/ to the soundless dunes.), reminiscent of a seminal scene in the film American Beauty. It has a broader, international reach though. The sardonic ending brings it to a precise conclusion. --R.T. Castleberry

  • January 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      How the Wind Works
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Sleep Walker
      by Brenda Levy Tate
      PenShells

      Third Place

      The Woman Who Grew up in My House Finds Me on Facebook and Comes to Take a Look Around
      by Antonia Clark
      The Waters

  • December 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Tires
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Scouring Pots While the World Ends
      by Elizabeth Koopman
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Poetry in the Cultural Revolution
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters