Boys

by Allen M. Weber
FreeWrights Peer Review
First Place, September 2011
Judged by Tyehimba Jess


We are Spartan at the beach
naked save for cut-off jeans

winter never lifts suddenly
creeping temperatures tease

groaning fissures into the ice
and sometimes a stupid boy

wanders too far from shore
makes an island of himself

each almost wishes it were him
incensed by indecision

drifting toward the horizon
on that breakaway floe

soon native girls will wriggle free
of winter coats then summer shifts

to gambol barely out of reach
of the cold and muttering surf

prone with elbows and loins
pressed into the warming sand

we’ll confront each pale breast
to wonder and ache like a tooth


This poet balances sensuality with "the cold and muttering surf" in a way that brings the expectations and risks of adolescence into focus. Nice work! --Tyehimba Jess

  • 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
      Babliu

  • 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