Wig

by Michael Harty
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, January 2010
Judged by Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar


She lay dead-white and perfect
blanketed in paint and lilies. Incense died
around our ankles. The hair, stiff
with spray, too quiet to be her own.
Never mind the little priest, what could he know
of her falls and rises, of dime dances
and lucky breaks, mink-wrapped evenings
in Columbus Circle, New Year’s canapes
on the Queen Mary. The shining lies
of tuxedoed men, the dead faithlessness
of diamonds. High life in the Loop, low life
a block from Venice Beach. How to put
twelve years of dents in the same Cadillac.
How one enunciates while holding
one’s fourth manhattan of the afternoon.

Yes, it was fate or serendipity
when the late-arriving nephew staggered
into the wreath from the Library Guild,
knocking it into the coffin,
which tipped the wig over her eyes
and smeared her lipstick for the last time.
Now that was more like it. Finally
we could say goodbye.



  • 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