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InterBoard Poetry Competition
Honorable Mentions, December 2007
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      Laurie Byro
      (Desert Moon Review)

When I crawled through my mother’s bones
I’d like to say, they were bent over me

like birches, that the tips of her pelvis-march
scraped against me in that narrow place.

But babies aren’t made this way. Beauty is messy;
the dark box I return to just before I wake

is a field with a thatched cupboard, every kind of leaf
as if she collected me among these pressed wax

paper plates. I’d seen tall, holy trees in Muir Forest
and me on my swaying stem, a Lady’s orchid,

her newest treasure, swaddled and given
up to her in a room with open windows. Crushed

yellow and scarlet autumn hands reached in
and settled on our laboring bed. Rust ripped the sheets,

they’d call me an autumn flower. Candles sputtered
and grew down, white and pure and healing.

Each relative and ghost was there. She cradles me.
She holds my soul over a flame. This life is messy,

Mother. I carry your bones in a paper sack
like a picnic lunch. When I release us

to the air we tumble like acrobats, blister
the hardened earth with our fall.

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      Christopher T. George
      (Desert Moon Review)

Mum, you have asked that I cast
your ashes in the River Mersey,
the muddy Mersey I see broil
behind as you stand windblown
on the Pier Head landing stage,
Seacombe ferry surging to nudge
giant tires with a rubbery kiss
as sailors tie the ferry up,
the muddy Mersey that flowed
down the bottom of our road,
at Otterspool prom: expanse
of sun-glinting gooey flats
at low tide decorated with
ditched pram, kiddie’s bike:
scene I painted in the Sixties,
that hung in your living room, til
I gave it to grass-high friends.
Mersey Mersey me, I think of
you as I attend a Ripper event
in a big white marquee beside
the Liverpool Cricket Club:
rain clouds sweeping in from
the distant Welsh hills, over
the Mersey’s whitecapped waves,
past the benign cream stucco
walls of Battlecrease House,
where lived James Maybrick,
who may have been the Ripper,
Mersey Mersey me, I think of
you as I scatter your ashes.

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      Linda Balboni
      (Mosaic Musings)

The time has gone, my heart’s grown cold,
I miss your love and stories told,
your smiling face, like golden dawn,
my heart’s grown cold, the time has gone.

Our talks at night, your gentle voice
to spill my soul, your ears, my choice,
dear dad, your laughter made things right,
your gentle voice, our talks at night.

How deep the ache through tearful eyes,
to know you’ve left, can’t share our ties,
a plan from God, your soul to take,
through tearful eyes, how deep the ache.

For all my life, I will believe
your presence guides me, yet I grieve
for you to be here; end my strife,
I will believe, for all my life.

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About the InterBoard Poetry Competition
Archive of IBPC Winners

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