The Marsh at Dusk

by Steve Meador
FreeWrights Peer Review
Third Place, May 2009
Judged by Duncan Mercredi

I enter the marsh
with a rabbit’s foot,
a four leaf clover
and knowledge that evening
arrives from the west.
When the sun rests on the tallest reeds
I turn and carry it on my back.
My senses, stropped by adrenaline,
will lead me to the fleece of safety.
I taste thunder before it coagulates,
smell rain as it gathers in clouds.
A moccasin’s yawn rivals the bellow
of a fire-breathing bull. Gurgling,
from a gator’s nostrils, magnifies through
valleys of cattail stems, reaches my ears
as harpie screams. If scraping happens
along tectonic plates, I will feel it.
Every splash and swish of the paddle
whips up a tornadic whirlpool.
Dusk evaporates. Fear bubbles
like magma, hardens in my kayak’s wake.
Once the plane to open water is broken
I turn the bow toward the sulfurous
throat that wants to swallow me
and laugh, like an Argonaut come home.

Coming from a small northern village before the advent of modern conveniences, a line such as " when the sun rests on the tallest reeds, I turn and carry it on my back" resonates within me and I remember walking in the reeds as a child seeing only the sun and sky above me. This work stirs those feelings and I travel back to those innocent times and that magnificent gift we've been given, imagination. --Duncan Mercredi

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      by J.J. Williamson

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • December 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Abandoned Woman
      by Midnight Moon
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Taking a Tumble
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea