Caroline Danced

by John Wilks
The Write Idea
Second Place, March 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


At last, her muscles lose their memory,
she forgets the cakewalk and the swivel,
the sequined flapper dress, the blistered toes,
the bruises that adorn her legs, the sprains,
the sweat stains, the Russian’s hands that hold her,
then set her free to flourish, in the tat
and glitter of teatime TV, the four
perfect 10s, the trophy that reflects tears
shed too soon…
……………… pictures of a bloodstained room,
where love is an island on which she lies
marooned, the music ends, the credits roll,
before the final dance can be rehearsed,
her last steps criticised as a stumble,
her line, her frame, her moves, cannot be judged.


A grimly powerful exploration of the demise of a dancer. --R.T. Castleberry

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Grand Central Station
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Back Stage
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      VFW
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block