We had an enormous number of excellent submissions for our Fall Poetry 2016 Contest, which gave us the delightful opportunity to name several Honorable Mentions. We are excited to present one of these Honorable Mentions, which are in no particular order. Please enjoy!
My body was a highway interchange.
Father, brother, frat boy,
All the “no’s” I couldn’t say like nickels,
dimes and quarters tossed
into the pockets of my tollbooth.
People say I look like my mother, but my father’s nose
dominated my teenage face until a doctor’s
hammer and file erased daddy’s grip.
But I can’t scrape his freckles from my arms.
They lead me back to childhood—
an atlas of fingerprints rising from my skin.
My mother confides that she met a woman she thinks
is her half-sister, the legacy of her father’s affair
when she was 11. 11, my age when my father
scored with his office confidant and co-worker.
11, my age when my parents threatened to divorce.
Infidelity—is it a gene passed down to me?
Alone at the beach, I dream of my former lover
kissing me in taxis, in his tiny two-seater, in my green convertible.
Moving forward, on a divided highway.
The blackberry vines overrun my garden.
They suckle from deep roots, choke my cool mint.
Their red hunger ripens to purple, bursts.