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

  • 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
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      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