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InterBoard Poetry Competition
Second Place Winner, May 2006

THE PALACE
      Millard R. Howington
      (South Carolina Writers Workshop)

It may well have been one in times past,
but for now it was a still livable hotel
in Fort Lauderdale with its roof being
worked on from one of the hurricanes.
I noted the progress of a red plastic cup
drifting ever so slowly over the bottom
of a swimming pool situated only feet
from the non-stop traffic of Ocean Drive.
Across the street was a small outdoor
restaurant that catered to the condo
folks, and the waitresses played up to
them, calling them by name and such.
I leaned on the balcony railing and wondered
if that black strip of roofing draped over
a palm frond, just out of reach, would fall
off in the gentle breeze, noticed the two
women in thongs tanning by the pool
though they had nice tans already, and
that one lady so very white I hoped
she knew what the Florida sun could do.
I ventured to the hotel bar one night
and the old regulars were jacked up about
politics, being their loudest, so I boxed
the rest of a roast beef sandwich, grabbed
my Bud Light, and retreated back to the
room for the local news. Anchor Dwight
Lauderdale had aged quite gracefully.


Judge David Biespiel’s comments: “The poem’s interest for me is the way it keeps the ominous just outside the bounds of its emotion--its reportage stirs the tension without injecting rash emotion or self-mythology.”



About the InterBoard Poetry Competition
Archive of IBPC Winners
3rd Place Winner, May 2006



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