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InterBoard Poetry Competition
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Second Place Winner, November 2008
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MY FATHER’S FAMILY TREE
      Anna Yin
      (Pen Shells)

It all started from an ink spot,
my father took it as a sprouting bud.
Sucking on his smoking pipe,
he drew his long narrative
on a piece of paper.
I can sense his smile,
as leaves spread their dense fragrance:
always his favorite,
now highlighted by a brush —
son: a high-ranking officer,
daughter: a respectable scholar,
(my father decorated each with details
like my mother’s Christmas tree)
then me, the would-be poet.
My father has never known poets,
and, to him, “would-be” worse than the rough bark.
(I can feel his pause)
then, a tinted soft orb beside me:
“engineer abroad” perfectly mirrored.
My father ensured his final touch
to free me from starving.
I roll up this glowing paper,
and place its warmth on my chest —
Someday at harvest,
out from the chrysalis of my heart,
I shall start a new scroll.



Comments by judges Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald: “This poem also tells a great story, unique, yet universal. The piece is sure-handed, and captivates the reader from beginning to end. Both this poem and the first have a strong beginning and a strong end.”

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About the InterBoard Poetry Competition
Archive of IBPC Winners
3rd Place Winner, November 2008

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