My Beautiful Body

by Mary MacGowan
The Waters
First Place, February 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


My beautiful body, I’m so sorry.
You were starved, befriended wrong
people, ate badly, drank too much.
And for petty thoughts I am
ashamed. Who’s fatskinnydumb-
smart. On the way down
does everyone feel the same
regardless of why the fall –
pushed, accidental, suicide?
And what to knit with all my spare
time? Yards & skeins of it.
A sweater, maybe a scarf.
Stop. You’re making me laugh.
I bought myself flowers,
gave blood. Today ran away
with me. I’m late.


Blunt and fearless but also well-crafted, with a tight meter and an economical use of tough language. --R.T. Castleberry

  • 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