The Lessons

by Jim Zola
The Waters
Second Place, December 2011
Judged by Nathalie Handal


This is the place they take you in
wash your feet

you sip the water of forgetfulness
language is a spoon

a young girl squats to pee
behind the slaughterhouse

touches
the place the body forgets

they take you in
to send you out again


This poem breaks my heart. It’s quietness is piercing – delivering lessons or rather sentences, that devastate - The poet sculpts each word, beat, emotion, image, and leaves us at the center of this small monument where little feet weep. --Nathalie Handal

  • 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