In My Next Life I Want to Return as an Animal

by Bob Bradshaw
The Writer's Block
Second Place, June 2021
Judged by Sarah Carleton


I’d not be a camel,
though each morning the sun
breaks over his hump. Where’s the glory
in carrying your baggage?

Maybe a Bengal tiger
sprawled on your Persian rug,
daring boyfriends
to call on you.

Or perhaps a gator
— big rudder of a tail
patrolling your pool,

discouraging poolside parties
and skinny dipping.

The chameleon in me wants to return
as a gecko on your wall,
eavesdropping on hints
of yet another lover in your life.

Truth is, I long to return
as a howler monkey
belting out my heartache
whenever you walk by.


"In My Next Life I Want to Return as an Animal" impressed me with its light touch and clever use of metaphor. The poem flashes conflicting moods of protectiveness, jealousy, and anguish, all in the guise of various creatures. The language is simple and playful, almost like a children's book, but a complex adult story emerges from between the lines. --Sarah Carleton

  • November 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Cycling Across t’Bridge
      by Ieaun ap Hywel
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Now Hear the Word of the Lord
      by Jim Zola
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Opening the Letter
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Help Wanted
      by Mary MacGowan
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Ode to a Hummingbird
      by RC James
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      Sizing Up
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

  • October 2021 Winners

    • First Place (Tie)

      Anna and the Scourge
      by RC James
      Babilu

      First Place (Tie)

      Mother Banana
      by Christina Vanthul
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Neighbors
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum