by Bob Bradshaw
The Writer's Block
Third Place, April 2020
Judged by Terese Coe

Conjoined at the hip and chest,
we were partners in a slow dance.

Though our parents were divorced,
we never knew loneliness.

When talk of separation came up
we looked at each other

the way a pilot and co-pilot
in a piper plane do

when flying at low altitude,
and the engine stalls.

Our parents chatted up the joy
of jumping puddles, and weeks later

I awoke to my brother lying in a bed
next to mine. His full face

clearly seen for the first time.
And when Brady turned his back

and strode the hospital hall without me
I saw my future.

To this day I know when he feels ill–
I take to my bed. And when he’s happy

I’m happy. Brady remains
as close to me as my chest scar.

When I’m sad I run my finger over it
and imagine, again, feeling whole.

With profound ironies on the subject of trauma, wholeness, and independence, this poem also strikes me as somewhat cinematic. The diction is relatively simple and powerful. The final couplet is adept, using negative space to create an explosive epiphany. --Terese Coe

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Grand Central Station
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Back Stage
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block