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

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