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.



  • June 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Escape at the Speed of Transience
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Palace Hotel
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      Camping
      by Mike LaForge
      The Waters

  • May 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Burying My Brother
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Asian man who walks past the balcony
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Five Hundred Yards from Home
      by Richard Moorhead
      Wild Poetry Forum