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.



  • 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
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  • November 2020 Winners

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      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