O be Joyful

by Judy Swann
The Waters
Honorable Mention, February 2010
Judged by Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar


That July, rectangular, he crept backwards.
He loved the mats of purslane on August
earth, where he lay his face,

and Nikka, the German Shepard,
not mutual, and by December with tin
ear, burbled to the gamelon.

At three, suddenly verbal, he claimed
to love me 92 olds and 47 pounds.
I love you he said, 32 – 14 – 7 hours.

He loved my eye and my other eye,
loved his father’s lymphoma’s nodes,
kissed them and said, Now we’re set.

I taught him to say Je t’adore,
which he pronounced “Such a Joe.”
Don’t go, he told me, Such a Joe, Mother.



  • March 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      What if the Wages of Dying is Love
      by Jim Zola
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Heart is not earthbound
      by Michael Virga
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Ode to My Ears
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Other People’s Cats
      by Mike LaForge
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Hollyhocks
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Hobo Stones
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu