The Windsock

by Paul A. Freeman
The Write Idea
Third Place, March 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


In her bright orange garb
the windsock startles the pre-dawn dullness.
She’s a rare jewel
set in the dun desert flatness,
her tapered body wriggling in the currents of the sky
like a newly-hatched grub.

Secured atop a steel mast,
she revels in her flag-waving freedom
and the liberty of isolation
offered by the expanse
of a fenced-in prison.

When dust storms bowl across the plain,
filling the air with scouring grit,
she flaps and flops and flails,
as helpless as a landed fish
gawping in the throes of suffocation,
worn out and wearied by the frenetic airflow.

At other times she’s limp and still,
beset by the humiliation of aerial dysfunction.
Like an impotent old codger
she fades away
in the grip of endless sunshine.

And yet,
pale and ragged as she is,
she seizes the attention of a lost pilot,
guides him to the ‘H’ of a nearby helipad,
whispering in his ear
the wind direction
and the wind speed
as she brings him home.


An amusing, extended--to great height, metaphor. --R.T. Castleberry

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Grand Central Station
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Back Stage
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      VFW
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block