Frosted Garden

by ieuan ap hywel
The Writer's Block
First Place, June 2017
Judged by R.T. Castlebery


Your dwarf Tangelo
is frostbitten,
rigor bristles the pulp     — 
Bernard Henrie, Winterset, 2007

Frost has struck and the garden rests
in a white dust, the lily frond has withstood
the worst and the cotoneaster has dropped
its leaves. A robin pecks at blackened berries.

Twelvetide is over, the fir tree
removed, cards bundled away,
the star taken down,
Epiphany is here.

We sit in the dining room
and drink coffee as the Dutch do
at ten. I drank to please her,
and now the ritual is part of me too.

A half finger of Almond cake
rests by my cup, my post-fest diet
has begun. She measures my days
like petite fours.

The hall keeps at 65 degrees,
the lounge stays at 70.
The south facing dining room basks
in the sun all day.

We settle into retirement
enjoying this late season of our lives,
we have time to watch
our robin peck at faded glories.


An anomaly in American life and poetry--a sweetly gentle lyric of a married couple settling into the loving rituals of aging. --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
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      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
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  • 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