Godiva’s Horse

by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review
Highly Commended, May 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


My God, he was a devil of a man to make
my lady weep into my head before she rode

with the heaviness of a sparrow, broken
winged, broken-hearted, her eyes furtively

cast down murmuring stories to me as
she passed through the shuttered town.

Only I know her secret. I am a horse,
no opinion, they gelded me for less, neither

“Nay” or “Yea” to tax. There is not a man alive
who knows that before her regal ride,

there were tears. Ghosts become alive
when they are haunted by bickering.

She straddles me, her waves of tears, her diaphanous
white shift, the seeping blue shells that she sets

on the garden stones to tempt glass-eyed birds
to mate. She is planting a poison garden, sowing

wolfsbane and nightshade to settle to the mulch.
I am nothing to her but a strong neck, a strong back.

She is not the first woman to weep, not
the first woman to carry the ocean inside her.


I love the confidence of this opening, of the idiomatic diction. --Fiona Sampson

  • 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