How is Florida treating you? Best, Jim

by Susan Katz
conjunction
Third Place, April 2012
Judged by Shara McCallum


Tampa is fine.

Florida treats me well,
though the move from New York
leaves me homesick.

The weather’s on track, sky all blue,
different bugs for different seasons,
if you can call hot, ter, test seasons.

Business is sluggish, I have arthritis,
am neurotic, skidding downhill after 60,
my daughter still doesn’t speak to me—

I wish I would die already, get life
over and done with, out-of-the-way,
Fini.

What could be bad?


The persona of this poem grabs my attention and doesn’t let go. I love the phrasing throughout this poem (“sky all blue” and “I wish I would die already” as two examples), which turns the voice on the page into a fully-dimensional character. This poem provides us with a hard-edged, humorous, unsparing, and unflinching look at one’s own aging and death—what else could you ask for? --Shara McCallum

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