Nebraska, Summer

by Greta Bolger
The Waters
First Place, February 2018
Judged by C. Wade Bentley


Like tar, she softens in the heat,
a would-be hazard elsewhere.
Her father, careless sentry

stays hidden under the truck
that’s never not in need of fixing,
soles of his beat-up boots

keeping watch. Not many lunatics
this far out anyway, no cars, nights so dark
every star can be seen and counted.

Listen. Soft radio clear as glass
all the way from Lincoln, love songs
rhythmic as she rocks, wood kissing wood.


I love the way the feel of the poem is as languid as a summer day, one line slipping easily into the next, alliteration and assonance doing their job but without bravado. The last stanza, in particular, commands that we listen, and then doesn’t miss a note. --C. Wade Bentley

  • February 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Homeless
      by J.J. Williamson
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum