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

  • July 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      The Three Fates
      by Laurie Byro
      The Waters

      Second Place

      If I Needed Someone
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      free spirit
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block

  • June 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Longfellow’s Wife
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      In My Next Life I Want to Return as an Animal
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      A Windy Walk
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea