My Beautiful Body

by Mary MacGowan
The Waters
First Place, February 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


My beautiful body, I’m so sorry.
You were starved, befriended wrong
people, ate badly, drank too much.
And for petty thoughts I am
ashamed. Who’s fatskinnydumb-
smart. On the way down
does everyone feel the same
regardless of why the fall –
pushed, accidental, suicide?
And what to knit with all my spare
time? Yards & skeins of it.
A sweater, maybe a scarf.
Stop. You’re making me laugh.
I bought myself flowers,
gave blood. Today ran away
with me. I’m late.


Blunt and fearless but also well-crafted, with a tight meter and an economical use of tough language. --R.T. Castleberry

  • July 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      The Three Fates
      by Laurie Byro
      The Waters

      Second Place

      If I Needed Someone
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      free spirit
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block

  • June 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Longfellow’s Wife
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      In My Next Life I Want to Return as an Animal
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      A Windy Walk
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea