by Dale McLain
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, December 2011
Judged by Nathalie Handal

The creek knows of winter first, and the geese
foretell it with mournful voice and striving wing.
I watch them skim the pallid meadow and love
rises, ices my spine in silver surprise.
I remember everything. Spent cornflowers
thronged a quarter acre beside the mill house.
I stood at the barre and dared to hope.

Toe shoes and chignon, I was a blade of grass,
a leaf in a book. I did not wish to gleam
or glint. I longed to be a feather on a grey wing,
side by side, quiet sister, indistinguishable.
It was fall and I walked home alone,
stepped from leaf-crush, wind-moan dark
into fire-bright chaos. Uncertainty was my truth.

And now I lift my hand, as if the sky is satin
draped from oak to cedar, as if it might feel
like a bird’s soft chest. I never was a plume,
never flew against the curtain of winter,
yet love found me, quicksilver kiss, snowbank
at my back. The geese lift me like a prayer
and the creek, in kindness, recalls what I let go.

Flight. Maybe. But something about this poem refuses to let go. --Nathalie Handal

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      by J.J. Williamson

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • December 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Abandoned Woman
      by Midnight Moon
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Taking a Tumble
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea