Roots Theme – Prize Winners

First Prize – Michelle Brock

she teaches me
to tuck my bed sheets
with hospital corners . .
the aunt who never speaks
of the child she gave away
parsnips and onions
roasting in the oven . . .
I quiz my mother
about the handsome stranger
in an old family photo
helping Dad
dig up a giant potato
in my fifth spring
I confide that one day
I’ll grow up and leave him
everlasting daisies
shed petals on the windowsill –
this longing
to hold on to things
I cannot grasp

Second Prize – Eiko Masubuchi ( 増渕英子)

the long road
to the village
the long road
to the depth 
of my soul
trillions of my cells
filled with 
wind and light
of the tiny village
deep in the valley
a long way 
to be reconciled
with the tangled feelings
my roots

Third Prize – Tony Williams

after the earth roared
a child’s head and hands
rise through rubble –
an emerging sapling
reaches for sunlight
roots embrace
leaves mutter in the breeze
fearful forest
battle drilled, on watch
for fire, drought and saw

Third Prize – Pamela A. Babusci

like the deepest
roots of a weed
his lies
are bottomless
spreading like wildfire 
tearing out
the taproot from 
an unknown flower . . .                                              
what deep enigmas
still remain hidden?