Voice-In-Law

by C. King
Blueline
Honorable Mention, February 2007
Judged by Pascale Petit


I know her voice, too soft for understanding
but with alarming sibilants, like rust.
The worry of the decades moves her mouth
and throat to make the indistinct more harrowed.
I lose the nuance. And, again, I lose it.

My wife, of course, can hear the tiny vowels
and doesn’t mind how half the consonants
are shouted while the other half are missing.
She hears anxiety as kiln-fired love
and slight approval as confetti rainbows.

I wonder, now, how my own mother sounds
without the filter of my understanding,
the singsong tones, the braced sincerity
that I know as the cautious woman’s care
for those sewn on her tapestry of life.



  • February 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Not a Poem of Crows
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Resolution to Laugh More
      by F.H. Lee
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      The Nowhere
      by Erwin Fernandez
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • January 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      How the Wind Works
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Sleep Walker
      by Brenda Levy Tate
      PenShells

      Third Place

      The Woman Who Grew up in My House Finds Me on Facebook and Comes to Take a Look Around
      by Antonia Clark
      The Waters