1st Place Long Poetry
The only thing that let me know she was alive
was the beeping heart rate monitor by her bed.
Every now and then I could hear her take
a deep breath in her oxygen mask.
They said she would be gone by morning
and I refused to look at her,
the frail skeleton of a woman
who once had rosy cheeks and infectious laughter
now looks like she would shatter at a single touch.
They say that hearing is the last thing to go,
that she could be listening to us and unable to respond,
and this haunted me more than the
ugly groan from the machine.
Could she really hear us?
Did she hear the nurses talking about her,
how she had less than a day to live,
or how her heart would stop any minute now?
Could she hear her loved ones dread?
Did she hear her family cry?
Was she at peace with all this information
or did she just want us to shut the hell up?
Did she take comfort in the voices that bounced from walls
or was she a trapped in her own head, mentally covering her ears,
with no way of voicing her concerns or fear?
I couldn’t bring myself to look at her.
Sonnet for the Rain
1st Place Short Poetry
There is no sea nor sand, the creek is dead
for miles. I press my hand into dry ground.
The crackled grass pin pricks my palm and red
is all the world. Then everything abounds
in gray. The somber song of pregnant clouds
is calling Earth to open silently
her caverns, thundering throughout so loud
the roots are wet with sound. So violently
they scream and stretch until the sky
releases gentle tears of rain. The green
familiar ring of music cools my spine
and all the stones around me seem to gleam.
The mud is marriage – earth and sky – they lay
Supine and wish the gray was here to stay.