The First Nine Months

by Jim Fowler
Babilu
Third Place, August 2015
Judged by C. Wade Bentley


I found a new vision of you
after the first bite. Dark clouds
casting shadows over your
blank face and fig-leafed body.

The reptile was right. I needed
his counsel in the new affairs
of my heart. For you puzzle me,
relentless in your need to couple.

Your whispered words of eternal
love in my ear are less important
now my stomach swells, smooth
with the new fruit of our joining.

Soon I’ll have sons. Jawbones in hand,
troublesome to me as their father.


This poem is tight and terse—as tough and matter-of-fact as its speaker. The ending is especially fine. --C. Wade Bentley

  • 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