The Family Bible

by Tina Hoffman
Desert Moon Review
Third Place, February 2014
Judged by Robert Lee Brewer


I ended up with it – all the birth
and death records. It is covered
with blood from my Grandma, who was
a diabetic, she’d poke herself,
test herself, and wound up
with the Bible in her bloody hands again.

There are certain passages marked
with colored ribbons, I will never
change them, they were most
important to her. I touch the blood
stains and feel her speaking, even though
I am not sure what they meant to her.

I find them perplexing, pleasing
and peaceful. She still exists
through those bloody fingerprints.
They all thought she was crazy.
I think she was just sad but hopeful
that words would finally make sense.


There's something inherently important about a family Bible. One person's 'crazy' is another person's faith. Two things I really enjoyed about this poem: one, the grandma covering her Bible in her own blood (and then passing it on to her own blood); two, the narrator sharing everything in a very clinical way without tipping her hand as to her own level of faith (or lack of faith). --Robert Lee Brewer

  • May2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Burying My Brother
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Asian man who walks past the balcony
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Five Hundred Yards from Home
      by Richard Moorhead
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • April 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      In the next life we were married
      by Ken Brownlow
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To a Wayward Son
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Separation
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block