Fountain

by Douglas Hill
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, May 2008
Judged by Patricia Smith


I recall the spiral down the spit-fountain
in my father’s dental chamber: I leaned
too long over the sucking shiny throat,
stalled, steeling against my return to
his adept hands wielding instruments
that would drill precisely into my fault.

I lay back dry mouthed on that baroque
black barbershop chair, as if for a trim,
scissors on the sides; resigned to the rest,
longing for a sip of water, some respite.
He turned secretively as he would in
the kitchen to decant a tumbler of scotch.

The pestle riffed a hard hissing mantra:
he urged it against the mortar, mixing
the mystic silver-mercury amalgam;
then into me flooded the moment of bonding
more intimate than thirst:
his soft warm fingers in my mouth.


I'm the dictionary definition of a daddy's girl, and this gentle poem--so full of specific detail, yet at its center a tender and intense moment between father and child--hit me right in the heart. --Patricia Smith

  • June 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Escape at the Speed of Transience
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Palace Hotel
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      Camping
      by Mike LaForge
      The Waters

  • May 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Burying My Brother
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Asian man who walks past the balcony
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Five Hundred Yards from Home
      by Richard Moorhead
      Wild Poetry Forum