Baskets of Severed Hands

by Christopher T. George
Desert Moon Review
Honorable Mention, September 2015
Judged by C. Wade Bentley


When the white-skinned visitors arrived,
the Capucho offered no helping hand.
Cardinal Rosario, garlic-breathed and plump
with satisfaction, offered them the comfort
of the flesh and blood of Jesus, yet
they liked better their jade gods
and the promise of eternal sunrises.
General Francisco came in search of gold,
having heard the legends that had filtered
even across the ocean: idols of burnished gold
with irises of sapphire, navels of emerald.
So it was just a question of who would disclose
the secret first. The General prided himself
a student of men. He knew there is always
a way to make men speak. He sucked his teeth,
“Cardinal, every hombre has a breaking point.”
So his minions prepared the raffia baskets,
the keenest Toledo blades.



  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
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  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block