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

  • 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