Czarny Polewka (Black Soup)

by Emily Brink
The Writer's Block
First Place, April 2009
Judged by Duncan Mercredi

I heard the crack of his boots in the snow.
My heart rabbit-swift because
“No” was under my tongue.
He is a coward blowing his foul kielbasa breath
and weeping to the Beatles.
I knew he would never make a faithful husband.
I watched my mother in the slimness of the dusk
make Black Soup. I watched her chop the duck
and drain its blood. The blood dripped
into a pan, black as all mortal sin.
Next, chopped plums, like a smashed thumb,
color of the priest’s robe on Passion Friday.
A little vinegar and honey together
because every curse contains a blessing.

I especially love the imagery in this piece. My mind attempts to picture the visage of this man but his face keeps changing and I am unable to capture his true face. The memory of the mother also plays into this piece and I am left wondering just what is the author really cooking. Reads beautifully but also leaves one with a sense of danger but not really comprehending what that sense of doom is and I suspect there is more to this piece. --Duncan Mercredi

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      The Emails Go Unanswered
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      Second Place

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      Third Place

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      Honorable Mention

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      Second Place

      by John Riley
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      Third Place

      by Brenda Levy Tate