Let No Man

by Laura Ring
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, May 2017
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


When words achieve a certain antiquity –
dolorous. Goodly. Afeared –
they get to retire.

They fade from our pages, lips,
and take up residence in hymns
and rites of passage.

I have been thinking about asunder.
How we break up with boyfriends.
Lovers. End it with comrades. Mentors.

But ties blessed by the gods are put asunder.

That sounds like something a god would do –
like a thunderclap, a schism in the ether.
Some cosmic weapon the fates use
to sever us from the living.

And shouldn’t it take something big
and biblical to break us? To send us into exile?

In Sweden, the refugee children
fall into fairy tale sleep
when they hear they are being deported.
It’s called Resignation Syndrome.
But it’s a sundering, isn’t it? A sheering
of tiny roots newly dipped, like toes
into mythical North.

Sometimes the body speaks when language
fails us.

If we would act like gods, we should sound
like them. In the law books. Newscasts.
Executive orders.

Today, at the border –
put asunder:

The huddled masses.
The dream-dead children of others.



  • 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

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Homeless
      by J.J. Williamson
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum