For Ann Lovett

by Christopher T. George
Desert Moon Review
First Place, November 2016
Judged by Richard Krawiec


Earlier January wind scythed
across the patchwork fields,
swirled around drystone walls,

ruffled the wool of sheep,
drove starlings like duckshot
across the gunmetal gray sky.

Normally she’d go to school,
in her anorak and woolly jumper;
instead, before Ma or Da

rose, she walked to the grassy
hill with its sheepcreep paths,
the grotto with its holy figure.

Sister Immaculata later said
Ann was an intelligent, artistic
child. If only she’d confided her

secret. Ann kept her size hidden,
told no one, took care to
carry scissors along to snip

the umbilical cord—she knew
that much. For hours, she lay in labor
in the cold afternoon rain.

As she lay dying, did she think
of the lover that she’d known
or the caress of the hand of God.


I like a poem where the author feels in control - even if it’s a wild, or surreal poem. I also like clear action, especially handled imaginatively - ‘wind scythed across patchwork fields...ruffled the wool of sheep’. The final wondering - were her thoughts about her lover or her God - ends on a reflection the reader can participate in. It’s an important poem about an important event but it avoids being preachy. --Richard Krawiec

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