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.



  • May 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      No One Here Is Dreaming
      by John Riley
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Lot’s Daughters
      by Shawn Nacona Stroud
      Desert Moon Review

      Third Place

      Perhaps This
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Let No Man
      by Laura Ring
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Smiling at a Hotel Bar Window
      by Bernard Henrie
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      Seven Years in Laredo
      by Kendall Witherspoon
      The Waters

  • April 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Roasting
      by Marilyn Francis
      The Write Idea

      Second Place

      The Sorrow of Hearts
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Dancing at Midnight
      by E. Russell Smith
      The Write Idea

      Honorable Mention

      Silver Bed Head
      by Laurie Byro
      PenShells

      Honorable Mention

      The Little Loss
      by Dorothy Doyle Mienko
      PenShells