you think you’ve seen everything

by Justin Hyde
Salty Dreams
First Place, June 2009
Judged by Duncan Mercredi


silver-dollar eyed
guy in the corner
of the flying-j
talking gibberish
loudly
to himself.

that’s nothing
we’ve all
seen it.

but still

after pissing
you ask the waitress
if he’s alright.

he’s a regular,
she says.
a Vietnam
vet.

that makes sense.
you go back to
reading a little
sartre.

he jumps out of his
booth.

starts doing the
twist.

6’3
250 pound
bear of a man

grinding it out
like a
motherfucker.

smiling from
one end of the room
to the other

belting out chubby checker
so loud
it’s vibrating your
ribcage from
seven booths over.

he comes toward
your booth.

motions for you to
get up and dance.

it’s not fear
and it’s not
pity.

you don’t
exactly know
what the hell
is going on.

but
you do it.


We've all been there, as an observer or the observed, minding our own, speaking to ghosts or the gods in our own private place. Then someone intrudes, just to peek inside your mind, seeking the message you have hidden within you. Time to time, they'll let you in but there's always a price to pay isn't there? Excellent piece of writing with a surprise "twist" at the end. --Duncan Mercredi

  • August 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Seasoned with Love
      by Eira Needham
      PenShells

      Second Place

      Ill-used
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      A Note for Perilous Times
      by Fred Longworth
      PenShells

      Honorable Mention

      Whatever Glorious Else It Is
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • July 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Corton Beach Holiday Camp, Great Yarmouth
      by Marilyn Francis
      The Write Idea

      Second Place

      Still Waltzing with You
      by Allen M. Weber
      Desert Moon Review

      Third Place

      The Aging Magician Speaks to His Reflection
      by Laurie Byro
      Desert Moon Review

      Honorable Mention

      Seeking Duende
      by Richard Chase
      Desert Moon Review

      Honorable Mention

      Dr. Seuss’s Guide to Manly Health and Training
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Honorable Mention

      Resonance
      by Sylvia Evelyn
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      celebrating the 45th anniversary of Father’s Day
      by Michael Virga
      The Writer's Block