What Children See

by Sivakami Velliangiri
The Waters
First Place, March 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


My Appa who had to take my Amma to Triviandrum
when I was a ten-months-old baby. . . .

There were no relatives there, no one who knew them.
In my convent days I saw them as a perfect couple
till they dreamed up my brother.

What happened post-delivery sent her to an asylum.

Have you heard the story of Sri Ram?
I doubt he loved Sita as much as he loved his honour.
Our Appa was also Ram, stoic Ram, loyal Ram,
his love for Amma we could see through.

He gave her the corner room so she could pray
to the three golden pagodas. He occupied the front room
to read his Times Weekly at midnight.

As children we saw this as ultimate love.


A rueful look backwards to a complicated adult relationship. --R.T. Castleberry

  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block