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

  • 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

      VFW
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block

  • January 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Glint
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      Chicago
      by Midnight Moon
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Training to Be a Star
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      Chewing the Fat
      by James Fletcher
      The Waters