Millstone

by Kathleen Vibbert
Pen Shells
Honorable Mention, October 2007
Judged by E. Ethelbert Miller


On the steps of St. James,
I’m a millstone.
A love poem. A Quaker lady.

Rare birds all around:
tails float toward the sun
with an ease that makes me envious.

I leave my idols
outside as Mass begins.
Smell the incense; resist
the urge to taste holy water

take my rosary from its convenient pocket
hammer down prayers from between my knuckles.
Communion cuts my tongue with its straight razor.

Stained glass swabs my spirit like rubbing
alcohol.
I leave my sins inside, emerge like oil
from an olive sack.

The street is dark.
My bones catch on my clothes.
A night heron waits.

In heels, I hadn’t counted on the cobblestone:
The radiant sections of motor oil and rain
shapes into the heads of saints.
How can I walk over them once more?



  • August 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The World Is Moist in the Morning
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Epitaph
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      I kissed a tree
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

  • July 2018 Winners

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      The First Time I Drank With My Father
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Bicycle
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      J. Alfred Prufrock Searches for Mrs. Right
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu