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.



  • May 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      No One Here Is Dreaming
      by John Riley
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Lot’s Daughters
      by Shawn Nacona Stroud
      Desert Moon Review

      Third Place

      Perhaps This
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Let No Man
      by Laura Ring
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Smiling at a Hotel Bar Window
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      Seven Years in Laredo
      by Kendall Witherspoon
      The Waters

  • April 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Roasting
      by Marilyn Francis
      The Write Idea

      Second Place

      The Sorrow of Hearts
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Dancing at Midnight
      by E. Russell Smith
      The Write Idea

      Honorable Mention

      Silver Bed Head
      by Laurie Byro
      PenShells

      Honorable Mention

      The Little Loss
      by Dorothy Doyle Mienko
      PenShells