Stoma

by Laurie Byro
About Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, February 2008
Judged by Fleda Brown


The bag my mother carries coos
like a muffled baby owl. She hides it on
her side like a purse with gold and silver
coins left to spend. When she moves it gurgles

like a sooty faced bird, more raven than eagle.
She is self conscious, afraid it will fly away
without her. She fears her life will be set loose
like a snake in its hungry beak. What is left,

after the surgeons cut part of her away,
is this graceless winged woman, a white gown
instead of plumes, a thatch of broken weeds.

The doctor has no magic tricks up his sleeves. She sits
on her nest incubating regret, hums while morning
streaks the sky red. She waits on her little clay throne.



  • 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