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

  • March 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Cuttlefish
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      Wings
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      gutterball
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • February 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells