by Allen M. Weber
Desert Moon Review
Third Place, May 2008
Judged by Patricia Smith

She likes to hike her dirty denim pants,
to teeter on a trash receptacle–
the daring daughter of a spectacle
that people pass without a sideways glance.

Behind an Appomattox five-day fast,
Miss Via’s waking found her drunk and stark,
balled up inside her three-wheeled grocery cart.
She stretched and mumbled how she couldn’t last

in cities of her selves. In store-front glass
she strikes a pose of someone else’s life–
an author or a famous bastard’s wife.
If beetle-black reflections scurry past

she’ll trap them with the dash-like Emily.
And if she carries tomes about the town–
because there’s no good way to set them down–
the critic cites her incivility.

Tonight beneath Graffiti Overpass,
she flings tomatoes at her drying work
daubed overhead. Ideas on a lark
lean Via west like tributary grass

before a petulant Atlantic : She
may lumber through the lower altitudes,
strip down the dress of urbane attitudes,
and clamber above inhibiting scree.

Out there she’ll learn to taste untroubled air,
to make her water on unpublished leaves,
to rub her narrow rump on trunks of trees,
to go as Appalachian as a bear.

"She stretched and mumbled how she couldn't last/in cities of her selves"--lines such as that one fueled this marvelous character study. I was engaged me so immediately that the creative adherence to form was a secondary, unexpected delight. --Patricia Smith

  • July 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The First Time I Drank With My Father
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Bicycle
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      J. Alfred Prufrock Searches for Mrs. Right
      by Laurie Byro

  • June 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Poem in Exile in the Style of Neruda
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Either February or March
      by Brenda Morisse
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Accidental Writer
      by Bernard Hamel
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Mouse in April’s Winter
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Sister Valeria
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Honorable Mention

      My Trip: The Last Siona Dream
      by Don Schaeffer