Seven Years in Laredo

by Kendall Witherspoon
The Waters
Honorable Mention, May 2017
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


One-hundred five degrees. Sweat puddled
under callused toes. Dust covered every tree leaf.
Rain held hostage by armies of heat waves.
I swept the furniture, unplugged the fan when
moving air cut. Spoon-fed my father, watered his dogs,
shed the woman I was too fast to love.
Sometimes I’d escape, take a cab to Rositas,
the only place that served whiskey margaritas.
Let them melt down my singed tongue, into my burned
out brain. The Mexican waitresses, always those short black skirts
and red bras, knew all about my father, the rescued cat,
his damn Chihuahuas, the woman and my habit of rushing to love.
Back home, before porch lights, I’d tinker, make tacos, change dad’s
diaper, sit on the veranda with a cat in my lap, beer in hand.
Watch the neighbor’s lives fill up with drought and loss.



  • 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