Atlantic Giant

by Jim Fowler
Babilu
Third Place, September 2016
Judged by Lee Nash


You sit stolid on the skid,
Atlantic Giant, the Buddha
of pumpkins. Your lifeline twists
wrist-thick through the grate

to the mountain of compost
and brown earth. The patch
of Sugars nearby, peanut sized,
look up at you in awe.

Your shadow blankets all
as the sunset and your final
day draws near. We’ll cut
the cord and carry you

to your final match,
a weigh-in of sumo gourds,
soon a half ton of pies.


It is comforting to discover, in amongst the pathos and protest poems, a down-to-earth piece that celebrates growth and nourishment. If you've ever had a pumpkin patch, you'll appreciate these lines that marvel at this "Buddha / of pumpkins." The care that's gone into it makes it seem like a baby, to be treated with utmost care – but only until we realize just how many pies it will make! --Lee Nash

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