by Peter Halpin
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, February 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry

We would take the shortcut across the fields
and through the ash plantation, kicking
up fallen dried leaves or scrambling
down rocky slopes, him holding my hand
or my shirt collar if I got to far ahead. Not
much of a talker, only speaking to offer warning
or encouragement. I’d be shoulders slung
over creeks and rail lines. This was my only time
with him. I talked as little as him, cast a glance
now and then when in doubt or a grunt if my nerve
exceeded my ability as I basked in his shadow.
When he died, he lay twig-like on the bed,
cancer had eaten him to death and left
nothing for us to bury, except a box
of dried bones. After, I used to visit
him and lie leaf-like on his grave, hoisted
on his shoulders through the ash plantation
as low hanging branches combed my head.

A tramp through the woods with a taciturn father and a devotedly mimicking son. --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

      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block