Every month, Goodreads and the
¡POETRY! group host a poetry contest. It’s a great way to discover and support the work of emerging poets. Join the ¡POETRY! group where you can vote to select the winning poem each month from among the finalists. Aspiring poets can also submit a poem for consideration.
Congratulations to Elisabeth, who is our August winner with this poem:
During one especially phobic year
I freaked on the Logan-LaGuardia route,
my savior an unlikely former cop,
cascading black curls and smoke on her breath,
distracting me as you would a child.
If not for her I might have premiered
on the ten o’clock news, tied to a seat
shouting nonsense about a metal tube
staying afloat on invisible air.
That was long before the towers fell,
images seared with a strange déjá vu
from the scenes I’d previewed in my head
each time we tipped down for final descent.
When the babies came I swallowed my fear,
holding my nose and choking it down,
donning a mask of composed self-control
to contain the germs a mother can spread.
We traveled the world and I grit my teeth,
carried snacks and crayons in ziploc bags,
counted pages in airline magazines,
exhaled at the chimes of ten thousand feet.
Now they no longer need a chaperone
so I drop them off at departure curbs,
repeating three words as a talisman,
pretending my love could hold up the sky.
On the highway home I play the old songs,
distracting myself as I would a child
but my heart doesn’t slow to its regular pace
until, checking my phone for the twentieth time,
I know we’ve all come back down to earth.
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posted by Cybil
on July, 25