The Quiet Work

by Andrew Dufresne
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, March 2017
Judged by Sara Clancy


A steady thrum, as though a buzz saw
Had acquired precise intelligence
Whirls through the air. There is law
And law. And there is national defense.

There is a teething baby, gumming
Real food for the first time , cries.
There’s a time bomb humming, humming
Behind the lashes of lonely eyes.

Meanwhile in that web of lies we call
Reality, the quiet work proceeds.
For better, worse, the sum of all,
The day to day, with all its needs.

The weeds, the rusting shopping cart,
Broken pen knife, clamshell Burger King,
The bleeding sparrow’s beating heart,
Of these, and only these, I sing.


I love the music in this poem, the rhymes and the slant rhymes. I’m also impressed by how the rhymes at the end of the lines disappear into the rhythm, precision and intelligence of the rest of the words. The poem is interesting and a pleasure to read all the way through, but that last stanza is a stand out! --Sara Clancy

  • August 2021 Winners

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      Third Place

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