In My Next Life I Want to Return as an Animal

by Bob Bradshaw
The Writer's Block
Second Place, June 2021
Judged by Sarah Carleton


I’d not be a camel,
though each morning the sun
breaks over his hump. Where’s the glory
in carrying your baggage?

Maybe a Bengal tiger
sprawled on your Persian rug,
daring boyfriends
to call on you.

Or perhaps a gator
— big rudder of a tail
patrolling your pool,

discouraging poolside parties
and skinny dipping.

The chameleon in me wants to return
as a gecko on your wall,
eavesdropping on hints
of yet another lover in your life.

Truth is, I long to return
as a howler monkey
belting out my heartache
whenever you walk by.


"In My Next Life I Want to Return as an Animal" impressed me with its light touch and clever use of metaphor. The poem flashes conflicting moods of protectiveness, jealousy, and anguish, all in the guise of various creatures. The language is simple and playful, almost like a children's book, but a complex adult story emerges from between the lines. --Sarah Carleton

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • 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