Foliose

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

  • 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