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InterBoard Poetry Competition
Second Place Winner, January 2009
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      Christopher T. George
      (FreeWrights Peer Review)

A last ochre magnolia leaf twitches
like the index finger of a dying man;

under the ginkgo, yellow leaves spread
& all the birds are in motion, swooping,

diving: robins, starlings, cardinals,
a brace of cheeky blue jays—o one vaults

into the magnolia like a trapeze
artiste and devours a bud.

Comments by judge Elena Karina Byrne: “‘First Frost’ is a Buddhist-like, automatopoetic polaroid view of nature, targeting our vulnerability of perennial-impermanence where a magnolia leaf ‘twitches like the index finger of a dying man.’ The use of assonance and subtle end rhyme keep the poem beautifully close-fisted, bud-like, ready to be devoured.”

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