Black Man Carrying Alligator Briefcase

by Bernard Henrie
The Writer's Block
Honorable Mention, February 2008
Judged by Fleda Brown


Only I know how my heart feels,
to lose from the beginning
and gain slowly, to give away
with both hands.
To enter rooms that fall silent.
The withering looks
and absentminded curiosity.
I listen, but fail to speak.

The cascading loneliness,
the deluge of expectations,
the grades and judgments
which leave me empty.

The feeling is not new,
but expressing the feeling is new;
I write more often in my diary book,
scribble to myself, gawk at myself,
fix a permanent record of what I know.

I smile like a man from the country
wearing the wrong clothes in the city.
Or when you leave work early
but miss your train and rest
on a bench in the idle station.



  • February 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Not a Poem of Crows
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Resolution to Laugh More
      by F.H. Lee
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      The Nowhere
      by Erwin Fernandez
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • 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