Noisy Mornings

by Bob Bradshaw
The Waters
First Place, March 2019
Judged by Ruth Bavetta


When I wake in the morning it’s too quiet. My wife
is lying next to me, asleep.
The radio is silent
and I enjoy the rolling thunder
of the approaching garbage truck
when it rounds the corner.

Lids are clanged and cans being thrown aside
when my radio shrieks.
I squash its hysteria
and the cat jumps onto my hi-hats,
and it’s like a drawer full of silverware
is being shaken out
onto the floor. God I love
the sound of the world shifting
into another gear…
My wife throws aside
the blanket. “I’m late,”
she sighs, seventy years behind her
and the future approaching us head on
like a truck on a one way road, a rack
of bright lights atop its hood,
its horns blaring to get
the hell out of its
way.


This is a poem filled with the juice of real life, rich in the sensory detail of clanging garbage cans, shrieking alarms and crashing hi-hats. The down-to-earth language and informal syntax make it look easy, like an Olympic diver executing a swan. But look again at the beautiful metaphors, the “rolling thunder” of the garbage truck, the hysterics of the radio, the cat’s turning over the silverware, the world shifting gears, and then the whopper at the end that clinches the poem, “the future approaching us head on/like a truck on a one-way road…horns blaring to get the hell out of its way.” Bravo. --Ruth Bavetta

  • 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