when I had the ice cube trays half filled

by Dan Flore III
Babilu
Third Place, July 2015
Judged by C. Wade Bentley


when I had
the ice cube trays half filled

I couldn’t see
my father and mother anymore
or what they wanted
or how daylight felt nauseous
after they divorced.

there was only
the little spring birds that come around
to chirp easily at the afternoon
and the sound of water from the kitchen sink
like my own tiny river
carrying me away.


I was initially troubled by the ice cube trays; they seemed too arbitrary, too Proustian, too . . . poetic. However, this is a poem that grew on me, because of course it is often in just such seemingly insignificant moments that these emotional shifts happen, and not in the great, cathartic epiphanies that we suppose will be required. So, ultimately, it rang true. And there are some lovely turns of phrase. --C. Wade Bentley

  • 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